Bit of a rough week this week, but only physically. I've bunged up my left elbow somehow. I'd thought it was getting better and then overdid a few activities due to believing it was getting better... which landed me back at recovery square one; icing, rest and pain meds. Learnings: it was not better enough lol. Today I can mostly use my hand and arm normally again – and in about half the recovery time as the first bunging a couple weeks ago – so I'm considering that a win.
For writing, the big manuscript edits ended. They spurred a couple of smaller ones for fixing up, but overall the story feels like it's breathing easily again and ready to start into new drafting. My prompt word story is nearly done drafting, just a few more sessions, and then I can start cutting and gutting in edits. This smaller story is d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g as it gets closer to the end. I'm already excited about how much hack 'n slash is needed to fix it, and grumbly about how much overwriting is needed to find the gold thread of storytelling in all the backstory and side tracks.
Trevor elbowed Leo gently and he laughed. “Plus, having kids isn’t actually a concern right now if you and I do decide to have a relationship,” Leo said. “Lindsay didn’t want children when we were together because she felt we were too young, and I just never bothered to stop taking repression.”
Trevor burst out laughing. “Really, Leo? You haven’t been touched by anyone in three standard years and you’re still taking repression?” she asked.
“Of course,” he said with a shrug. “It’s one pill a cycle and takes a month to be fully effective. I just take it with the rest of my cycly shipside supplements.”
“You do know you don’t have a twenty-eight cycle body rhythm to keep under control even when you’re not sexually active, right?”
“Yup,” he replied with an easy smile and a shrug.
“So you’re already ready in case of surprise sex. Makes sense.” She rolled her eyes. “You know it actually only makes sense if you have surprise sex,” she added, leaning her shoulder into his and talking out only one side of her mouth.
“Eh,” he said. “I can’t get fully interested in someone quickly enough for surprise sex. Physical attraction will get me talking to someone, but a person has to be worth talking to for me to get sexually attracted.”
He stepped behind her, making room in the hallway for two members of the crew to pass them. Neither of the other crew members walking toward the galley noticed the gesture, and they continued past Leo and Trevor without any interruption to their conversation.
“So is this where you tell me that you like talking to me?” she teased, pulling his hand so he’d come back to walking beside her.
“Pfft,” he scoffed, squeezing her fingers gently. “That’s the biggest understatement of the exploration. I love talking to you.”
She stopped suddenly. He paused to face her, the apology for having said such a bolt thing already on the tip of his tongue.
“Leo, I really want to kiss you,” she said before he could say anything. “Can I?”
He choked back the apology as his mind scrambled to catch up and understand what she’d just said. “You want to…?” he started, and then shook his head to see if that would help straighten out his thoughts. “Really?”
“Yes,” she said, laughing quietly. “Are you going to make me ask again or can I kiss you now?” she asked.
“A kiss? I mean, yeah. That would be… I would like that. Very much. All right. Yes.”
She was still chuckling when her hand cupped his cheek and then her lips touched his. Leo’s heart pounded against his ribs as the entire galaxy vanished around him for the perfect seconds of kissing Trevor, the sounds and lights of Dockland returning in a rush as it ended.
“Phew,” she whispered. “I didn’t expect you to be that good at it.”
“Kiss me again?” he asked quickly.
Trevor shook off from holding his hand and wrapped her arms around his neck to hold on tightly as she kissed him one more time. Leo stroked her back and shoulders with his hands and then hugged her close, holding on to the embrace after the kiss ended and smiling when Trevor held their foreheads together.
“So does this mean I’m not a bad idea anymore?” Leo asked carefully.
“Nope, you’re still a bad idea,” she said with a chuckle. “But I’m starting to think you might not be a total waste of my time.”
“I could get used to that,” he whispered.
“So, what would you say if I told you I wanted to ride you like a bicycle?” she murmured.
“What’s a bicycle?” he asked.
Trevor laughed hard, stepping back and shaking her head at him. “You are still such a green-grass landsider sometimes,” she said, chuckling and smiling widely. “You look it up and then let me know.”
“I will,” he said, still distracted by the taste of her kisses remaining on his lips.
She backed away a few more steps along the hallway. “And, Leo?” she said through a chuckle. “That’s your cabin. Just right there.” She pointed at the door he was standing beside, laughing out loud when he blinked at it and then took a startled step back. She turned around and kept walking. “You get back to me about the bicycle,” she called over her shoulder.
“I will,” he promised. She waved without looking back. He watched her all the way down the hall until she turned the corner toward her cabin and stepped out of sight. “I wonder what a bicycle is,” he muttered to himself, and then he unlocked his door and went in so he could use the search on his comp to find out.
Stars align, ancient history had a lot of great innovations. Leo was certain whoever had come up with the idea of a two wheeled vehicle powered only by the operator hadn’t been thinking of it the way Trevor now had Leo thinking about it, though.
However, regulations clearly stated no fraternization between crew members, unless the relationship was exclusive, established, and Coalition registered.
Rather than swipe the holoscreen of his comp closed and message Trevor immediately agreeing to her offer of riding him like a bicycle, Leo’s hand hovered over his personal copy of Coalition regulations. Up until fifteen minutes ago, he and Trevor’s relationship could have gone on for the rest of their lives as great friends. Maybe as great friends who wondered sometimes if they might have had a successful romantic relationship, too, but definitely continuing as great friends none the less.
He picked up the dedicated handheld and scrolled into the menu to select the section on relationships between exploration crew members. He knew regulations were in place for a reason and, even if that reason wasn’t clear to him, there definitely had to be a reason. Then again, Captain knew he and Trevor had been flirting because she’d caught them holding hands over an extended dinner and she’d just smiled at them and winked before pointedly not looking their way again as she got a cup of tea and left to return to the bridge. So... maybe the threat of removal from Coalition employment stated as the only recourse for unregistered fraternization wasn’t as strictly enforced by Captain as Leo was worried about?
He swiped off the dedicated regulations handheld, hesitated but swiped closed his comp’s holoscreen, and then just sat and stared at the cabin’s ceiling. His smart chimed with a message from Trevor.
<Did you search up bicycles yet?> she asked.
<I did, yeah> he replied. His stomach twisted into a knot as the seconds ticked by and she didn’t respond.
<So you’re going back to being scared of me again?> She’d added a holoimage of a mouth aggressively biting air and then bouncing as it made exaggerated laughing motions.
<Yeah> he replied, then added <Regulations on crew relationships, though>
<No way to get to an established relationship if it never starts> she messaged.
“I know, but regulations are pretty clear on this one,” he told his empty cabin, his voice as depressed sounding outside of his head as the feelings were inside his chest. <It’s just a big step> he messaged.
<So think about it. I never said you had to get back to me tonight>
There was a long pause and then his smart finally chimed. <You’re worth waiting for> she messaged.
This was a weekly blog updating on Fridays, but life got busy so now I pop in now and then to let you know I'm still chipping away at my stories. If you look back through the archive you'll find weekly quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free! Check out my Short Stories section for free downloads of most of my writing, too!