First draft disclaimer: This narrative is a first draft, and is therefor subject to grammar errors, repetitiveness, lack of clarity, and other issues. Later drafts will smooth such things over, but for now they remain. Please be tolerant.
Alice and Finch were both high ranking members of the guard. Finch was a Vice-Captain, and have been in that position for nearly seven years. Alice had joined two years after him, but was far better suited for the role, and had, in the span of two years, surpassed him and become his Captain.
Right now, the two were sitting in front of the Captain-Commander, Natasha Glass Rhye. Natasha now only worked part-time, overseeing the five groups of captains.
They were sitting in her red-plushed office, in large armchairs. Natasha, a giant of a woman, was too large for her chair. She had been intending on getting a custom seat for years, but never cared enough to get around to it. Natasha was a tall blonde with the tanned skin of a woman on duty. She wore a white lace top and black dress pants, an overall attractive and classic look.
On the table in front of her were her two top hats, a white and a black. Nearer to her body were the forms.
“So you two wish to take a vacation? How long?”
“Three months.” Finch said. Alice had wanted one, but he knew that they would want more when the first month came to an end.
Natasha nodded, “You are aware that this will leave the day watch with no Captain or Vice-Captain.”
Finch nodded, and Alice said, “I am prepared to make suggestions on the topic of deputies.”
Natasha said, “Artus as captain and Vhirghinnia as Vice-Captain?”
“No, Artus as Vice-Captain and Jutt, that is, Alexandre Dirge as Captain.”
Natasha leaned back. Her seat did not lean with her. She would have to make sure the new chair reclined with her.
“Alexandre? She is and has never been in the guard.”
“No, but she is bound to Artur. They would work well together. And did you yourself not work with her?”
Natasha nodded, “that is precisely why I have yet to turn you down.”
Alice gave her a stern look. She was one of those women who could give such a look to a superior with great effect.
Natasha felt her stare, knew that it was out of place, and yet still felt uncomfortable.
“Very well, dear. I mean, Alice, I will allow it. However, if Alexandre is not fit for the task then I will have it my way.”
Natasha, like most people older than Alice, felt strong urge to address her using diminutive terms. Due to her position as Alice’s commanding officer, however, such addresses were inappropriate, no matter how many times Alice told her it was okay.
“You can call me dear,” Alice giggled, “A lot of people do! Or little miss.”
Alice blushed and smiled a childish, girlish smile.
Finch waved his hand, “either way, we’re approved. Let’s go Alice.”
“Right. I really should be off myself, to go Chloe off. She’s taking a trip herself, although it is official business.
Finch knew Chloe, she was his teacher for many years, “Oh, she must be excited.
They stood, and Alice said, “Oh, and don’t worry Mistress Rhye, I’ve already talked to Jutt on your behalf about the deputy position. It’s smooth sailing for you!”
“Hmm.” Natasha stood and took the black top hat from her desk. Placing it on her head, she asked, “Where are you planning to go?”
“Somewhere exciting, for her sake,” Finch stated, “the Dead City.”
Alice and Finch had known each other since childhood, and after five years had become bound to each other. She was his bondswoman, and he her bondsman. Now, finally, they had come to a point in their relationship where they figured they should go away together and get to know each other a little better.
Because the two had been together since so young an age, neither had learned the ways of relationships. Their first two years together were dry, and they had nearly fallen out of love because neither of them knew about the common glue of all good relationships. That sticky, wonderful glue that keeps partners bound together. That sticky act called sex.
They knew all about it now though. Alice and Finch went home in a side embrace, talking romantically about what they planned to do with each other when they got home.
It was lucky that Crystal Jealousy had come when she did, those. She was a mother figure to Alice, but had abandoned the poor girl at the age of thirteen for reasons I don’t quite have time to explain here. But, feeling ashamed, she returned six years later, upon the completion of one of her many cross-world circuits.
And just in time too.
She did what any religious or otherwise worldly parent would do. She figured out what the problem was, and then solved it.
It was only a few hours ago, but Finch remembered it clearly. He kept looking at the sun, willing it to fall into the hills. Meanwhile his mind was trapped in Jealousy’s office. She had both a room and an office in the castle. Apparently, she was not only an heir, but also an illegitimate child of the King’s, his first child, the daughter of a long deceased Riley.
She sat on a giant lounging chair, the kind you would expect to find in a counsellor’s office, except it was for her, not her patients. Her patients, Alice and Finch, sat on a very small loveseat. All of her furniture and trim was red and fuzzy.
Jealousy was not lounging, such would be a great act of disrespect for her daughter and her mate.
“So you two are bound?”
Binding one life to another was something akin to marriage, but, as Natasha had put it, “Without the history of patriarchal slavery. You can become a bondsman or bondswoman and maintain your pride. As stated in nearly every book of national law, a wife is a slave to her husband, it states as much in our own law! Disgusting.”
Alice nodded, “We heard that bonding was more noble an act than marriage.”
Jealousy nodded. “And you intend to remain bound for the duration of his life.”
It was a statement, and both of the young adults before her nodded. Finch knew that Riley lived shorter than average lives by about a decade, so her last few words did not confuse him
She said, “Go to bed one hour earlier that usual. Shut up all the windows and doors, close the blinds and get under the covers and figure it out. That after their two years, neither of you seem to have encountered each other’s bodies is a tragic end waiting to happen.”
Jealousy then turned her noble chin and addressed Alice specifically, “And make sure he sees your figure.”
And so, here he was. He watched the sun set. They often went to bed an hour after sunset, speaking of their day in the dark. Both had excellent nightvision, and so their few candles remained nearly untouched.
“I think,” Alice said.
“It’s time to try what she suggested.” Finch nodded.
Finch lay next to Alice for about ten minutes before saying, “Umm… Do you know what we’re supposed to figure out?”
“I think so.”
A moment of silence between them.
“Me too, but I can’t really see anything.”
Alice lifted the covers, turned to the bedside table and lit the candle. It burned dim and atmospheric. Their room was the perfect size, not much floorspace due to that fact that neither cleaned much, and very sturdy. The walls were a tame brown-orange, and the sheets a soft yellow. The bedspreads were soft fur. Finch figured that Alice would prefer to be sleeping under something that had once roamed the earth, and he had been right. Plainkind usually slept under rough leather, and he figured she would appreciate leather with something soft attached.
Alice was a mixed Plainkind, but she had been raised in the Solune Kingdom since she was very young. Despite losing her blood mother to a starvation incident and being an orphan for many years, Alice maintained a cheerful and endearing temperament. That’s why she rose to the rank of Captain so quickly. Alice knew the names of every single one of the thousands of citizens in the city, and each of them in turn knew hers. She was renown as the best guard in the ranks now, at the age of twenty-one.
Alice also built muscle easily and quickly. She had worked in construction during her teenage years, under her adoptive father, Jithin. According to Chloe, who was a reliable authority on everything Alice, who was only 3.2 cubits tall [4’10”], weighed an astounding 316 pounds. Most of it was structural, she had said. The Plainkind did not store energy as fat, but instead as an alternate and weaker form of muscle. Alice was zero percent body fat and sixty percent muscle. Another ten percent of her weight was due to what Chloe called “vestigial limbs” in her back. No one really knew what that meant. Alice was a tiny figure, but very strong. Plainkind muscle is extremely dense, so she simply looked like a woman who lifted heavy things (such as livestock and boulders) for a living, instead of like a hulking monster.
In contrast to all that was his partner, Finch was only 110 pounds, and the same height as Alice. He was also two and a half years younger, at eighteen, but was also a little more mature. Finch was generally an introverted, shy person but Alice was so awkward and oblivious that he often had to make the first move in anything important. It was he who suggested that they should share a house and then a bed. It was even he who asked Jealousy to for help.
Finch rolled over to Alice and sat on her midsection, leaning over her. They stared at each other, and enjoyed the feeling of their mutual breaths. Alice took off her nightshirt, and then Finch felt an odd sensation, like blood exiting his brain. Usually, this heat in his midsection was an annoyance, but as he looked down at Alice’s anatomy, he decided that tonight would be anything but annoying.
Finch closed his eyelids and his parched brain was immediately flooded with even drier biology textbooks. He harvested from the loose pages the information he needed, and then quickly filled his mind with images of Alice instead. Then he took her imaginary clothes off. He had done this a lot before they lived together, but now he realized he didn’t have to. His eyes opened and peered at her gorgeous red cat irises, then he pushed gently into her.
Alice let out a noise she had never made before in her life, and Finch was suddenly eager to hear it again. They made sultry expressions at each other, positioned on the bed in awkward stillness.
“I figured out what to!” Finch said excitedly.
“I-ahh, know that Finch. Can you please do it some more?”
Those were the last comprehendible words that either of them spoke that night. Within the hour Alice broken their wooden bedframe, Finch flung the candle across the room, where it was promptly extinguished, and both of them, until the sun warned them of their impending day.
Finch thrust into Alice and released what his body was willing to give and then stopped, staring at the small line of light that dared to show itself along the edges of his blackout curtains. They were his, as Alice did not believe in curtains, at least not until this night had come.
Finch was breathing heavily. Alice was too, but not nearly as badly. She could have gone on, but her emotions were strained as much as his body was.
“Finch we don’t work, we’re on vacation.” She said.
Finch looked down at her breasts and then her face, and said, “oh yes.”
He exited her body, stood, took a roll of thick tape from inside a trunk, and taped the black curtains to the wall. He would have none of this light ever again. Then he leapt over Alice and lay in the bed next to her. She put the fur covers over him. They looked at each other, noticing in their dark faces that glow that is universal to all good relationships.
Their mattress was now sitting directly on the floor, each and every one of the slats had busted. There was a dent in the wall where the bed had been repeatedly thrust into it, revealing the mercifully sound-proof masonry.
Alice shrunk into the blanket and said, “we should sleep naked, just in case?”
“In case?” Finch asked.
“In case of… an emergency.”
Finch was completely unsure what she meant by this, but, placing trust in her, he nodded and closed his eyes.
Alice listened to his breathing and stared at the ceiling.
“Oh no,” she said to his sleeping form, “oh no, oh no! What is this?”
And, fretful, hot, and filled with energy anew, Alice turned over and forced herself into a fitful sleep.
The New, Less Pressing Problem.
When Alice woke up, she knew at once what the problem was. When Finch woke up, they again had sex until lunch time, whereupon they dressed, ate, and exited on Alice’s request.