This wasn't supposed to happen.
Then again, taking into account the fact The Universe really, really hates one Seamus Zelazny Harper, I guess it was kinda inevitable it did.
My worst childhood nightmare - that dark and bloody horror that had me stumbling from the nest of my bed night upon night, speechless with terror, came true. And then whatever asshole runs the Universe decided I was too much fun to have around and let me pull myself together like a bug scraped off the windscreen of life that flutters limply back into the fray.
I got off too easy. I should've realized there was at least one more landmine from my past waiting to be stepped on.
And here I am.
I figure he probably isn't too happy about it either, but he won't say anything. I'm sure not going to say anything. We don't do talking - not that talking is his forte anyway. Talking is my forte, but talking and not saying anything. Babbling really. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. But hey, it works on most people. Irritates the shit out of them of course, but makes them dismiss me as trivial, disregard me as a threat.
Not him though.
He had the damn nerve to tell me he approved of my survival strategy on the whole, but I could shut up in private. When I looked at him blankly he said, "Nietzsche wrote 'Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.'" and gave that Uberman smirk that makes me wish I was seven feet tall, and muscled like a heavyworld bodybuilder.
For the obvious reason.
Goddam Nietzsche. I bet he was a real pain in the ass personally. And I'm circling around the issue.
Which is that I'm lying here, next to one large pureblood Nietzschean alpha male, after having made love to him.
Yeah, after all those years under Niety subjugation, struggling for food, water and shelter; running from slave-sweeps and hunting parties; fighting with tooth, nail and whatever illegal weapon I could macgyver together against Humanity's bastard cousins, I wind up here.
If it were just fucking, it would be OK. All right, not too classy on the morals front, but I've lowered myself much worse than this before (Beka's ex instantly springs to mind). And shit, you get your kicks where you can in this life, 'cos sooner or later life is gonna be kicking you back.
But it isn't sex - it's making love. I know the difference. Done a lot of the former. Virtually none of the latter. It isn't even a species thing. I've been fucked by Nietzscheans before, even voluntarily once or twice, and it's no different than with humans.
With all the others, there wasn't the same gentleness there is when he kisses me. There wasn't the warmth his eyes show. Or the affection that's revealed in his touch. There's a marked dissimilarity between sensuality and tenderness, but you never realise it's there until you've experienced it.
And it isn't a one-way street, this tenderness. Yes, he makes me feel safe (not something I ever would have reckoned - feeling safe encircled by limbs with armspikes), but he also makes me feel protective. Pretty funny really, some scrawny little human feeling protective of the big buff Uberman.
But it's the non-physical stuff that really kicks the crap out of you six ways to Sunday, and even a Nietzschean can't completely guard against that. No matter what the Over-race likes to believe. That's what I want to safeguard him against - the razor-cuts and sour twists that populate our lives.
Oooh, heading into orbit 'round Planet Sap there, Harper. Romantic is not something we do either. I'd say we were friends more than anything - another condition I never would have pegged us sharing. Hey, I've been reading up Mr Know-It-All and he also wrote, "Hold a true friend with both your hands." Maybe I should tell Tyr he's been taking his dogma a bit too seriously recently.
He'd probably swat me one for that.
Mmm. On second thoughts, that could lead to interesting places...
I have to wonder what he sees in me sometimes. I know what attracted me initially. OK, so I have this weakness for 'big and gorgeous'. And between him and Dylan, the monopoly on 'big and gorgeous' is covered in this corner of the universe. But what does he see in me? He likes to take charge in bed, but he doesn't treat me like some weak submissive fucktoy. He never loses sight of what I am or where I've been. He doesn't get blinded by my facades and physical frailties like so many others do. He sees me, and he still comes back. I don't know why. Basically, I don't even know what this is or where it's going.
But I do know I wouldn't surrender it for anything.
"You're thinking too much."
I glance over. His face is relaxed, eyes shut, the faint sheen of sweat golden across his brow.
Oh, real eloquent Harper.
"I can practically hear you thinking."
"Well, if I don't keep the hamsters running, the wheels stop."
He opens those long-lashed eyes, looks puzzled, then shakes his head briefly in dismissal, braids falling about his shoulders with a sibilant rustling, black snakes swathed around my very own Medusa. Mesmerized, I reach out my hand to stroke them. He catches it and then surges upward onto his elbow, a monument of dark honey-colored muscle leaning over me. I must look...something, because he raises my hand to his mouth and gently kisses the palm. My breath catches and I look up into a foreign expression on his face.
Maybe we're going to do the talking thing after all.