Chapter 8: All the News that’s fit to print…sort of
I definitely didn’t look forward to having to pony up all the info I promised, but luckily I was fairly vague in what I agreed to tell. I’d tell him about what I could do, maybe even a little about the event itself, but that was it. I wasn’t going to give him everything. I just couldn’t bring myself to share certain information.
By the time we’d walked back to Shane’s apartment I was starting to feel a bit odd. The connection between the two of us was so solid I was becoming a little concerned.
“Hold still Shane. You remember what it felt like last time after just a few seconds, imagine now after nearly an hour. You may even want to brace yourself. I’m going to move slowly because I’m concerned that we’ve become strongly joined.” I’m not sure why, but I said it all out loud. He merely nodded his (our?) head.
I set the fade and moved to step forward as slowly as I could. As I moved I could feel myself coming loose, almost like breaking the surface tension on water. Every sensory receptor in my body was screaming – in a good way. I could feel and hear Shane groaning and beginning to shake. I could sense the near agony of pleasure he was experiencing and it flowed through me as I continued to move slowly. I was about half way through the process when I felt his orgasm take hold, incipient of my own. His knees buckled but I managed to maintain my movement, taking the last step away as he was in the final throes, on his knees gripping the table and howling.
Once I was completely free I went down as well. Hard. I felt a wave of nausea like my internal organs were re-settling. My body was massively overheated and somehow still shivering. I managed to turn to look at Shane and he had his arm wrapped around the table leg, clearly barely holding himself upright, and tears streamed down his face.
“Oh God, Shane. Are you OK? Did I hurt you? Fuck…I never meant to hurt you!” I crawled over to him and ran my fingers through his hair. An electric shock ran through us both and he leaned his head into my hand.
“No, Lala, you didn’t hurt me, I’ve just never felt anything that intensely. Honestly, I don’t think anyone on the planet has ever felt anything that intensely. Except maybe Adam came close, but even that I doubt could compare to what just happened here.” He began to regain composure and let go of the table and pulled me into his lap. “I will go out on a limb and say that was singularly the most amazing thing in the history of mankind. If there was ever anything – EVER – that would make me glad to be an Enchanted, baby, it would be that. I don’t think I could live without ever doing that again.” He took my face between his hands and kissed me. A sweet, hot, wickedly angelic kiss. “You felt it, didn’t you? The connection? The rightness of it? We were meant to do that. I don’t know how I know that, but it was a fait accompli and we both know it.”
He was right. It did really feel that way. Like there was some sort of higher power that put us together at exactly that moment in exactly that way. That everything that had happened before had led to that moment. I nodded. “Yes, I definitely did. I don’t know any of the ‘w’s’, but I know that there’s no question that doing that was the right thing. And yeah, I’m good with doing that any damn time you want to!”
The gigantic grin on his face was contagious and we were both grinning like idiots until he spoke. “OK, LaLa. Spill. There’s a lot of shit you need to tell me, and I have a feeling I’m not going to be happy about some of it, but you promised no secrets, so start filling in the blanks. The plants, the suggestions, all of it.”
I moved to crawl out of his lap but he didn’t allow it. “You’re not getting away that easily. You’re going to stay parked right here until I hear what I want to hear.”
“Don’t you think you should go clean up first? I’m kinda sitting in the wet-spot right now, and you’re going to be a sticky mess shortly. I promise I won’t back out on our deal, and that I’ll give you everything I have.” And I meant it. I had no intention of bailing on him. What had happened between us was too big to walk away from. I owed him as much as I could give him, and I was pretty sure I was more than half way to being in love with him, and I didn’t want to do that any dirtier than I had to.
“I’m going to pop home and change clothes and you can shower and I’ll be right back. I swear.” I crossed my heart in the international symbol of trust and smiled.
“OK, but if you bail, so help me Iola Bellman, I will find you. I may not be able to pop like you, but the twins can, and they want to keep me happy so I keep them happy, if you know what I mean, and they are persistent little fuckers.” The smile on his face was only slightly amused.
“Don’t worry, Shane. I made you a promise and I intend to keep it. You put your neck on the line for me today and I won’t dishonor that.” I focused on my apartment and popped home.
I guess I should explain what popping feels like. There’s not much to say, really. It’s almost instantaneous and it’s like you blinked. The light goes out for a microsecond, then you’re someplace else. There’s no real feeling about it, it’s just about focus. Nuff said.
I changed clothes and threw the dirty ones in the laundry basket. I had a pretty good idea how this talk was going to go, so I grabbed the wad of cash I kept stashed in my socks. I popped back to Shane’s before he was even out of the shower. I sat on the sofa trying to figure out how much I could say without saying too much. How much I could avoid saying without really lying. C’mon, you can tell me you’ve never done that. We’ve all skirted at some point, and it really was for his own good. OK, mine too, but yeah, his.
I have to admit when he walked out of the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel, drops of water running down his chest from his still damp hair, pretty damn nice view. I couldn’t get too excited because I knew what was coming, but all bets were off when he turned, dropped the towel and reached for his jeans. Clearly, the most perfect ass ever created. He looked over his shoulder to smile when he heard me sigh. And going commando no less. Damn! How was I supposed to concentrate?
He sat next to me on the sofa, still smiling, but a little more guarded. “OK Lala – out with it. I was thinking about it in the shower, I’m betting there’s a shitload you aren’t telling me. That you haven’t told any of us, am I right?”
All I could do was nod. I was still formulating my thoughts. I lowered my eyes and let out a deep breath and drew in another. “First I want to talk about what happened earlier. I am so sorry that I brought the WSGF out of the woodwork. I really had no idea that Andie was a plant. I can’t go back and undo it, and now I’ve got us all on their radar, but I will do my best to resolve the situation. And as for what I can do, yes, you’re right. I know that you are aware that the youngest of us, and those of us closest to the Facility were most affected by the Event. You also know that the general speculation is that it initiated in my father’s lab. Well, that part is at least partially true. What you don’t know is that I was literally standing at the epicenter of the event. I haven’t told anyone, and I would appreciate that you didn’t either, but I can do all of it. Everything everyone else can do, and much better most of the time. I know Jessie works with the plants, coaxes them, but I literally control them, as you saw today. I can talk to the Island itself and it responds. I can pop further, faster, I can fade 100%, and just recently discovered this, I don’t know what to call it, ‘sharing ability’ maybe. I can push my thoughts on others, I can heal severe medical conditions and I am aging even slower than all of you. I was ground fucking zero, and I’m a complete and utter freak, and if the WSGF finds out, I’m toast.” I said it all in practically that one breath.
His face was drawn, tight, his eyes were dark. I knew for sure he was disgusted and pissed off. “Shane, dude. It’s OK, I get it. And I think I have a way out of it for all of us. I’m going to disappear. For real. I’ve got a pretty good stash of cash, and we’ve been out of the public eye for a while, so I doubt I’d be recognized anywhere any more. I can survive pretty easily if I’m careful. Oddly enough, the one thing I didn’t get was any new languages – that might have been handy, right? Anyway, I’m thinking Australia...”
“Shut up.” Shane interrupted my train of thought. “Just shut the fuck up. You’re not going anywhere. We’re going to call everyone together and let them know what the WSGF is up to, but we are not going to tell them why. Just that you pissed them off or something. Everyone here loves you, me most of all, and we’ll protect you.”
I smiled. I knew he meant it, but I couldn’t let him do it. There was no way I was going to let him put himself or the rest of the Enchanted at risk for me. “Nope, sorry, not going to happen. I can’t be the cause of problems for everyone. Fuck, I’ve done enough don’t you think?”
If looks could kill I’m pretty sure I’d be vapor, but I was definitely the more stubborn of the two of us, and I wasn’t going to give in. “Look, Shane. I…”
“Once again, shut the fuck up. I just finally found this, well whatever this is between us, and I have no intention of letting it, or you go. I love you Lala, I have for ages, and I think you feel something for me too, and I can’t not explore that. Can you really walk away from me that easily? Do I mean that little to you?” His eyes were shiny with unshed tears and it ripped at my heart.
“No…” and I touched his face. “Baby, you mean that much. So much. I can’t endanger you. I could never forgive myself if something happened to you. Or to any of them. Because of me you’re all under scrutiny now. If I’m gone they’ll refocus their energy on trying to find me and they’ll leave the Island alone. I don’t want anyone to get hurt – even them. And if the Island fights back, people will die, and we’ll become the monsters they’ve convinced the rest of the world that we are. I won’t let that happen.” I was amazed at the feelings that swamped me at that moment. My stomach churned, my heart tightened. I came to the full realization at that moment that I was a colossal fuck-up. That I would never do anything worthwhile in my life because I was too guilt-ridden, too careless, too selfish. They would all be better off without me.
“We can still communicate. I’m the strongest telepath here, so the distance won’t be a problem. And maybe in a few years they will let you guys off the island and you can come visit, or maybe you can learn to pop. I don’t know if that can be taught, but it might be worth a try. I won’t come back here, it would be too risky, but we’ll figure something out. It’s just something I have to do.” I smiled, kissed him, and popped. I could only hope the game preserve we’d visited when I was younger was still there and I didn’t pop into the middle of an opera performance or something.