By Carol Givner
By Carol Givner
"I'm not afraid of you." Why give him the satisfaction of hearing her admit the obvious?
"You will be afraid. I'm going to give you something you won't be able to forget."
"Before you kill me, will you at least do my the courtesy of telling me what's going on?"
Dim figures hovered over her and a needle stabbed into an unwilling vein in her arm. "You're not going to die, Counselor. We have a great respect for the legal profession."
A funnel of color appeared in front of her open eyes like a bad television retrospective of Haight-Ashbury. It twisted and spiraled, drawing her in, pulling her down, until she floated in inky black, hearing only voices and feeling only pain.
"We're going to plant a bug in your thigh, close enough to a major artery to keep you honest. If you try to remove it, you'll bleed to death. If you cooperate, you'll give us some
useful feedback from you and your boyfriend. Everything you do, everywhere you go, you'll never be lost again." The Surgeon continued. "And you'll have me to thank for that. Think of me as your security guard. I'll always know where you both are. In return, my colleagues and I ask you only one favor."
Agony sluiced through her along with his brutal admonishment.
"Be thorough, Counselor. Be very, very thorough."
His voice faded. The silence numbed her. The pain concentrated on a spike of misery in her thigh.
And were those crickets?
She could smell newly mown grass and feel cool air on her skin. The scent of night, devoid of people, engulfed her. Was she safe?
"How are you doing, Lynn? Still with me?"
She forced her eyes open by heavy degrees. Lou was lying with her on the grass of what appeared to be a park. It was deep night. No cars in the parking lot, no children on the swings.
"They said they were hurting you," she mouthed weakly.
He heard her. "They did."
She swallowed, giving in to the shock. "Me, too."
"Please forgive me. I didn't have a choice. I never knew how far they'd go for a gadget."
"Why did you have to kidnap me? I haven't had a chance to do much with my life yet. I wanted to pay off my student loans, fall in love, have children." She bit her lip, hoping for a distraction from the sudden reality that her life had definitely changed.
"And have sex," she added, with no small measure of regret.
He looked weary. "Probably you should sandwich that in between falling in love and having children."
She sniffed, doing an inadequate job of blotting up her wet face. "Don't make fun of me."
He moved closer and grimaced. "I'd never do that. Especially not after the pain I've caused you. We're going to get out of this, and both go on with our lives."
"But, he said he put a bug in me. We'll never get out of this. He said he could track us both."
She paused. "Wait a minute. How could he track you with my bug?"
"Easy. I've got the mate to Bug from Hell." He patted his right thigh. "We'll find a legitimate doctor to take them out. Don't worry."
"But, he said they couldn't...."
"Let me see yours."
"Your bug. Let me see where they put it. In your thigh, like me?"
"Now, just a minute, Lou." She grabbed his hand as he raised the hem of her skirt over her hip.
"Yep, just like mine." he said, running his open palm over her skin, over a thin blue painless line. How had they done that? How had they left so little evidence of their vicious handiwork?
She leaned over for a closer look. The line was about the size of his thumb and traveled along the inside of her leg embarrassingly close to all parts feminine.
"Here. Take a look." He undid the front of his trousers and yanked the fabric down to his ankles.
Lynn blinked. "Maybe we shouldn't be so familiar."
Lou let his breath out on a whoosh of disbelief. "Don't be so old-time female. We're in deep...."
The rest of his sentence faded into gibberish. Lynn had stopped listening, stunned. Something else was weird. A non sequitur, too off-beat to believe, even after the reality-boggling events of the last few hours.
Lou must have known immediately what was on her mind, because he reached down to pull his trousers back to starting position.
She stopped his hands with both of hers. "Too late, Lou."
She grabbed the waistband and slowly revealed his muscular abdomen and his work-out perfect legs. One of which, the left, the one that had been a mangled mess in the parking garage, was perfect. But the right, now bore the identical injuries with the addition of a thin blue line at the start of his groin.
"I can explain, Lynn. Don't jump to any...."
"Your injuries changed legs. How did you do that? Who are you, Lou?"
"You've got to trust me."
"And even more important to know," she added in awe, tracing the scar with her fingertips, ignoring her effect on him, counteracting her feminine instincts, forcing herself to look away from his cotton-covered jutting response. "what are you?"
He covered her hand with his large palm. "I'm the man about to make love to you."
"Oh, no, you're...."
He stopped her in mid-sentence by leaning too close to her ear and whispering, almost inaudibly, "The bugs. Be careful what you ask."
He raised his voice, theatrically. "You said you wanted to have sex. I'm your man."
Was he kidding? Was he staging a diversion? Suggesting they tape a cable show on a hill in the park?
He was squinting at her, trying to tell her with his eyes something that couldn't be picked up audibly, or even visually from their angle. "I'll show you everything you've always wanted to know."
Was he referring to sex or their predicament? Or was he thinking that a distracting move might help them bide their time?
Lynn looked him over carefully. He had the gruff sex appeal of a Hollywood hopeful with the face only dreamed about for studio head shots. Despite the fact he needed a shave and a totally different identity, he could easily have been the perfect sexual partner, all tests in and passed, of course.
"I always hoped my first time would be memorable," she whispered, vulnerable for the first time in their ridiculous relationship.
He covered her breasts with his hands and gently caressed the undersides. She could feel her nipples harden against his palms. "You can count on me, Lynn. I'll be loving. I'll be gentle. And I'll definitely be memorable."
His lips moved silently in her hair. His warm breath disturbed her, aroused her. If she had to suffer the pain of life, wasn't she entitled to know the pleasure? What if these were her last minutes on earth before the Unnamed Terror found them again? Wouldn't she rather be one of the initiated, rather than one of the forgotten?
She moved closer until their bodies touched. "Sorry I'm an amateur."
"With your looks, you won't be unloved for long," he said, his lusty grin interrupted by their first kiss, a seamless, continental affair that shook up her insides.
"Keep your legs against mine. Maybe we can minimize the visuals," he whispered, between deep kisses.
Touched by his recognition of her need for privacy in a delicate moment, Lynn gave him permission to go ahead with his seduction, feeling her tummy tighten as he pushed his resolve against her. She was shorter then Lou. She could hear the frantic beat of his heart as she sought solace with her ear pressed against his chest from the insane fear around them in the satisfaction of love, however brief and unknown her initiation was going to be.
He did everything right. He nibbled on her neck, he traced the inside of her ears with the wet point of his tongue, he kissed his way down the front of her body, and lifted her skirt.
Lynn drifted in sensation. Lou's hands were warm and sure. He'd definitely done this before. No matter who or what he was, he know his way around a human female's over-wound, deprived body.
"We better lie down, sweetheart," he whispered.
Sweetheart. Ridiculous circumstances for affection.
He eased them both onto the grass. His trousers had disappeared along with his regulation cotton underwear, and in their place was the power of a man.
"I don't have a condom, but it isn't necessary."
What did he mean by that? Of course, if he was machine or an alien, he'd know what he was talking about.
"Doesn't matter, Lou. We're going to die."
He entered her with a selfish thrust. "Does this feel like you're going to die?"
Something hurt. Something gave way. Lynn gasped and burrowed her bottom further into the grass.
Lou rested his chin on her forehead, keeping his body still. "You weren't fooling. Sorry. I've never met a woman who told the truth."
"I told you I'd never...."
"I know. Lots of woman say that. Relax. The worst is over."
Lynn rubbed her heels over his hips, trying to find a respite from all her body had been through.
"Now comes the good part." He moved tentatively.
She murmured involuntarily.
He seemed pleased. "Hold on, sweetheart. You first."
Lou reached between their bodies and found the woman in her with deft circles of his thumb. Lynn strained toward the legendary heights of completion, searching for more of him with her body, until he slowly stroked back inside her.
After meeting a forceful grind of his hips, she felt a weightlessness invade her limbs followed by pleasure strong enough to knock her out. She could hear someone moaning. Must have been her. She could hear someone groaning. Must have been him.
They both collapsed in each other's arms, the cool night breezes drifting over her fulfilled body like a balm.
Lou kissed her gently. "Play by play?"
He chuckled. "You're really very sweet. That's guy talk for "how was I?"
She felt like blushing for the first time since their tryst began. "I don't have anyone for comparison, but I'd say that you passed the Bar."
He laughed, a nice but hollow sound in an empty park.
Lynn touched his face. "And how was I?"
"Definitely going to make Partner," he said with a lecherous grin.
Lynn cuddled closer and listened to the familiar beat of his heart. He seemed like an actual human being, but that switching leg thing had her worried.
Was he worried too? Had his heartbeat developed an odd, whirring quality. What was that extra added sound?
Lou's arms tightened around her. "I think we've got company," he shouted over the instantaneous arrival of two military helicopters, their high beams disturbing their rendezvous.
Lou was on his feet without ceremony, cramming himself back into his clothes. "We're going to run for the shopping center lights!" he yelled pointing toward the edge of the park. He grabbed her hand and they raced over the grass.
They were at the edge of parking lot before they realized the terrain took a turn for the worst. Lynn lost her footing and they both tumbled down an embankment.
Right onto a body.
In many parts.
It was The Surgeon.
Hoist by his own petard.
His severed head spoke, via microchip.
It said, "Tell Dr. B, Nostradamus was wrong."