5 of 6 | Chapter 19

 

“Sean, it's beautiful!” Light reflected from the jewels onto her skin.

“I hope you haven't had too much cause to regret accepting my offer back then,” he said, with an implied question in his voice.

“I've spent the most intense years of my life here. It's like I've lived a full lifetime over the last few years, but I don't regret it, not for a moment,” she confessed.

“I'm happy to hear that. We've had our ups and downs, that's for sure, but I think we've achieved results,” said Steersman.

“Indelibly,” she answered wryly. “So, can I travel?” she asked with a smile.

“Whatever you want, Karen. Whatever you want.”

“I have a surprise for you too. I'd like to invite you to dinner tonight, I'm cooking,” her smile widened into a grin.

“Wow! Thank you. I guess we never got to know each other from that aspect. I'll definitely be there.”

“Done then. Seven, okay?” she said, almost coquettishly, and left the landing platform.

 

The present

At exactly seven, Steersman stood in front of Karen's door. He rang the bell. Inside, the lights were all on, the chandelier in the lobby sent crystalline shards of light through the glass panes in the door.

“Good evening, Sean,” said Karen, as she opened the door.

She had been preparing all afternoon, and judging by the look of stunned shock and the way he stared shamelessly at her, she had achieved the desired effect.

Karen was wearing a black sheer summer mini-dress that flowed in sensuous waves.

The golden tanned skin of her bare thighs and shoulders radiated an uncontrollable eroticism, causing the air to vibrate as if a mirage stood in the doorway.

“Good evening, Karen,” Steersman croaked, as if his heart had stopped beating. And stood frozen.

“Would you like to come in?” she invited, and he walked slowly in, still heavily under her spell, trying to calm his desperately beating heart.

“Yes, very much so,” he murmured, pulling himself together. “You look stunning this evening.”

“Thank you,” she said, flushing with becoming embarrassment.

“Here you are,” he said, handing her large bouquet of flowers.

“Fire Lilies, thank you, I love them. Could you please help me put this necklace on? I couldn't do it,” she held up the necklace and their eyes met irresistibly.

“Certainly,” breathed Steersman.

Karen turned. The dress clung to the lines of her body, outlining her taut muscles and supple grace. It flowed down to her hips and then flowed outwards, the light material leaving little to the imagination.

“Can you manage?” she asked looking back at him with a cheeky smile.

“Yes,” he said softly and began to concentrate on the locket. He lifted the necklace over her head, and slid it around her neck as she gathered her hair and held up with left hand. Her skin seemed soft as silk, and glowed in the golden light of the crystal chandelier. Her scent was intoxicating.

Steersman had to fight for concentration as he worked the clasp, trying to avoid touching her skin as each brush of its satin smoothness was like an electric shock to his raw senses.

“There you go,” he said, slowly breathing out.

Karen let her hair go and it swept down, flowing stunningly across her shoulders.

“Thank you,” she whispered, turning towards him.

“You're welcome,” he replied hoarsely, his gaze drinking in her face, her blue eyes glowing like sapphires. Her breathing had quickened as a result of his proximity. They walked into the hallway, both painfully aware of the other's heartbeat.

“Would you mind showing me around?” Steersman asked suddenly.

“Oh, of course …. I'm sorry.” Karen laughed. “You haven't been here before, indeed. Please, look around while I get us a drink. What would you like?”

“Just bring two glasses. I brought a bottle of Henri Jayer with me.”

“Okay, one moment.”

Steersman didn't feel comfortable exploring the house without her, so he walked into the cozy living room that opened out from the hallway. Opposite the door, a large fire was roaring in the fireplace, shedding a warm glow. Steersman looked around at the sculptures and pictures that were tastefully dotted around the comfortably furnished room.

“It's really very tasteful, the way you've furnished the place,” he said when she returned.

“I'm glad you like it.”

Steersman observed her as she approached, unable to take his eyes off her. He liked the way she moved, the graceful sway of her hips almost independent of her upper body, the way her dress accentuated every tiny movement of her body. He opened the wine and poured it into both glasses. While they raised slowly their glasses together in a silent toast and took the first sip, they were looking deep into each others eyes. Karen felt light and free, as if something had clicked inside her since she found out the truth about him. Something, that had begun to stir since they met first, had grown into a maddening affection.

“I like a room to trigger feelings inside me. Maybe it's silly,” she continued their conversation about the room.

“Absolutely not. What feelings does this room trigger in you now?” Steersman asked, uncertainly.

“Magic,” she said with an open heart. That first glass of wine was warming her and removing her inhibitions, it was exuberant despite its age, and Karen quickly felt its heavenly warmth go to her head, just what she needed.

“Magic? What kind of magic?” he teased.

They sat down onto a sofa in front of the fireplace, sinking into its softness, almost to the floor. The roasted smell of pine wafted out from the crackling fire. By the light of the fire, they felt themselves sinking deeper into the grip of their mutual attraction.

“Can you feel it?” Karen said, closing her eyes. “The vibrations … close your eyes, Sean,” she said, noticing him observing her closely.

“Okay,” he said, closing his eyes, his mind beginning reel. He shifted slightly, as sofa was not providing support.

“Come, let's sit on the carpet,” she purred, taking him by the hand.

Then they began to talk, talking as they never would've imagined possible. Not a word was mentioned about the past five years. They simply focused on each other and found that they knew almost nothing about their personal lives. This often caused laughter and perhaps a hint of regret, but it was as if they were meeting again for the first time.

The evening passed quickly by in the beautiful perfection of each other's company. The bottle of wine soon disappeared and their legs buzzed with pins and needles. As they stood to stretch they both realized that they were hungry.

“What treats wait in store for dinner?” Steersman asked, teasingly.

“Pizza,” said Karen innocently, feeling the exhilarating effect of the wine.

“Pardon?” laughed Steersman.

“I hope you're not mad at me, that I lied,” she smiled a little remorsefully.

“About what?” he asked, feigning shock at her confession.

“About tonight's surprise. It's not dinner,” she said leaning against his chest, looking up at him.

“Really? Then what's the surprise?” Steersman asked, his voice breaking.

Karen's face moved close to his. A glow burned in her eyes, her scent intensified and she delivered the coup de grâce.

 

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CHAPTER 1 | EXCOLOPOLIS
CHAPTER 2 | MACHINES
CHAPTER 3 | A NEW TECHNOLOGY
CHAPTER 4 | ATTACK
CHAPTER 5 | THE SOURCE
CHAPTER 6 | THE SCIENCE CENTER
CHAPTER 7 | UNIVERSITY CITY
CHAPTER 8 | GLIDECRAFT
CHAPTER 9 | SECTOR TWO
CHAPTER 10 | THEY KNOW WE ARE HERE
CHAPTER 11 | GRAVITOR
CHAPTER 12 | INSTALLATION
CHAPTER 13 | ENERGY WAR
CHAPTER 14 | AFTERSHOCKS
CHAPTER 15 | INITIATION
CHAPTER 16 | PREPARATION
CHAPTER 17 | DEFENSE CORPS
CHAPTER 18 | TRUTH