Tom's World Tech Blog

Space 2315… Peace, Chapter 13

Three months later, Alyssia was sitting on the couch while Amanda was kneeling on the floor applying makeup to her face. “I have no idea why you’re fussing about this kind stuff.” Alyssia said as she had to choke back a fit of laugher as felt the brush against her face as Amanda was applying what she called a foundation to the skin of her face. “David has never said anything about me not wearing anything, he’s often said that I look beautiful without it.”

“Yeah,” she continued to work on Alyssia, “but if he thinks you’re beautiful without makeup, he’s going to think you’re absolutely fucking stunning with it. Trust me.” Alyssia moved slightly. “Would you hold still already?” Amanda asked as she knelt down in front of her. “And quit talking, I have to put your lipstick on.”

Alyssia watched as she came closer with something that was colored purple much like her lips were naturally colored, yet the color was far more pronounced. “Now hold your lips still, don’t talk. I’ll tell you when you can talk.” Amanda brought the lipstick to her Alyssia’s lips and slowly applied the lipstick to her lips. “Open them a bit please.” Alyssia did as she was told, and Amanda applied more of it to her lips. “OK, now press your lips together,” she watched Amanda press her lips together, “like this.” Again, Alyssia did as she was told. “There you go.” Amanda stood back. “You look beautiful.” She took hold of a mirror and held it out to Alyssia. “Look at yourself in the mirror.”

Alyssia took hold of the mirror and looked at herself. “Oh wow,” she turned her head about as she looked at herself.

“I have to say, I did a damn good job.” Meanwhile, Alyssia continued to look at herself in the mirror. “I’ve really outdone myself here.”

“Yeah,” she handed the mirror back to Amanda, “you’re going to have to teach me how to do this.” Just then, there was a knock at the door. “That’s got to be David.”

“Wait!” Alyssia exclaimed while gently taking hold of her hand to hold her back. “Are you sure,” she looked down at herself, “he’s going to like how I look tonight?”

She was wearing what she thought had to be the most expensive dress she had ever bought. It was a full-length dress that nearly touched the ground and would have if it wasn’t for the high-heeled shoes that she was wearing. The dress had a slit on both side of the dress that went all the way from the bottom of the dress to about mid-thigh which showed off a lot of her long legs, her back was completely bare from the waist up with nothing more than a few thin straps of fabric that crisscrossed her back and went over her shoulders while the front of her dress barely covered what Alyssia often referred to as the ‘important bits’.

It may have been a very revealing dress but it, as Amanda said, exuded a kind of elegance and femininity that she imagined would leave David absolutely stunned.

“Honey,” Amanda came up to her and touched her bare shoulders, “if David doesn’t approve of how you’re dressed tonight, the problem isn’t you; it’s him! Trust me,” she put her hands on her hips, “he’s going to love how you look tonight because girl… you look absolutely gorgeous! You’re going to be the envy of everyone there tonight.” There was knock at the door. “Let me go to get the door, it’s probably David waiting for you.”

Amanda walked up to the door and opened it to reveal David standing behind it. “Oh wow,” she put her hands on her hips, “you look good. Like damn,” she put her right hand to her chest, “you really know how to clean up. You are,” she breathed out through pursed lips, “handsome! I have to say that if you weren’t with my best friend, I’d probably try to steal you away from her.” She turned around and held her arm in the air like she was on some kind of game show on the vid presenting some kind of prize to someone. “And now, here’s Alyssia, the girl of the evening.”

As soon as David saw Alyssia his jaw figuratively hit the floor as he drank in her looks, he had never seen her look quite so elegantly beautiful before. Sure, he had seen her dressed in various kinds of outfits since they had started dating but to see her dressed in a such an elegantly beautiful gown was a different story. He was seeing her in a new light.

“Oh my God,” he whispered. “You,” he looked her up and down once again, “you look beautiful. Gorgeous even!” He walked up to her as he watched her blush and touched her bare shoulders. “You look amazing Alyssia.” He took her into his arms and kissed her forehead as she looked down.

“You really think so?” She asked without looking up.

“Oh yes,” he whispered, “you look stunning and I’m absolutely honored to be in your presence right now.”

Alyssia glanced over at Amanda. “See?!” She exclaimed. “I told you he was going to like it.”

“Now please, come on my dear,” he let go of her, looked down and took hold of her hand, “let’s go have a nice evening of food, drink, and dancing together.”

“Amanda?” Alyssia looked back at her friend just as they were going to leave the room. “Are you sure you’re going to be alright by yourself tonight?”

Yes!” she exclaimed. “Now go!” She once again exclaimed. “Go have fun with your boyfriend! Go have fun dancing with each other. Seriously,” she looked down, “don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” She looked back up. “Get going before I have to physically kick you out of here. And don’t,” she pointed at her, “put it past me to do that to you.”

As the two of them approached the others that were waiting to get into the night’s event, she looked about at the other young women that were waiting with their significant others like she was and they too were wearing elegant looking evening gowns just like she was. Once again, the pang of jealously came back to her as she looked at how many of them looked absolutely beautiful yet as she looked at David, he had his eyes on her and only her.

It was then, as if he knew, he came around to her back and put his arms around her waist and brought her close. “Alyssia? Don’t worry.” She nodded as the two of them came to the front of the line. “As I told you before,” he whispered into her ear, “you are you and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Do you have your tickets for the event?” David reached into his pocket and pulled out his CAC1Common Access Card.. “Here you go, it’s on my card.” He handed the card to the member of the faculty that were letting people in and he scanned it upon which it beeped indicating that they were allowed to go in. “Your table for the evening is table twelve. Enjoy the evening David and Alyssia.”

With that the two of them began to walk across the dance floor to their table and as they approached the table the others at the table waved to them. “Hey there David,” the others spoke up, “good to see you here. And I see you brought Alyssia with you.” David walked up to the table and pulled a chair out for her at which she sat down. “Yes,” he put his hands on her shoulders and looked down at her, “I brought my Alyssia with me tonight.”

“That’s great!” Artur said as he turned to his girlfriend, Martine. “This is Alyssia, you remember her. Right? You talked to her a couple of months ago.”

“Oh yeah,” Martine waved from across the table, “I was wondering if David was going to bring you to this event. I’m happy to see that he did because trust me, you’re going to have fun.” Just as she said that the band that was on stage struck up. Alyssia looked back at the stage over her shoulder and then back at Martine. “Yep, they really pulled out all the stops for us tonight. Last year we just had a DJ but this year they brought in a full band to play for us tonight.”

“What kind of music do they play here?”

“Think Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé.” Just as she said that, the sound of a horn began to play. “Yep,” she looked to Artur, “it definitely sounds like it’s going to be one hell of a show tonight. Isn’t that right honey?”

Later that night as two of them danced next to each other in their arms, David began to think about how he felt for her. There was no doubt in his heart that he loved her very much and wanted to be with her. The thoughts of one day asking her to marry him and be together came flooding into his mind but he knew that first things were first, he had to tell her what he felt for her. He could feel his heart beating inside his chest and his blood pressure rising and she knew it too.

“David?” she asked as she could hear the sound of his heart pounding in his chest, “what’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he held her as they slowly danced across the dance floor, “nothing at all. Everything is perfect.” She sighed as he said that, she knew that there was something that was up with him but like so many things that happened to her in her life, she knew that he would tell her when he was ready much like she felt.

But as the song came to an end, they didn’t go back to the table like they normally did; instead, he continued to hold her in his arms. “Alyssia?” he whispered. He paused as he considered how she would react to him telling her that he loved her the way that her did. “I need to tell you something important.” He once again paused while she heard his heart pounding in his chest. “I love you, Alyssia.” She gasped as she heard those words at which she pulled away from him slightly at which he nodded. “I love you,” he let go of her and put his hand to his chest, “I love you with all my heart.” He took hold of her once more. “I’ve felt this way about you for some time now but as I’m dancing here with you in my arms tonight, I knew that I had to tell you what I truly feel for you. You’re the girl of my dreams, the one that I’ve been looking for to be with.”

“Oh David,” she whispered, “I love you too.” She too held him tightly and like that time a few months ago where she seemed to forget her own strength, she once again held him almost to the point of it being painful for him but it didn’t matter to him. Everything was perfect. She backed away from him and turned her head to the side as David did the same and their lips met.

And it wasn’t just some kind of peck on the lips like they had shared so many times before. This time there was passion in the kiss and it was every bit as what she imagined it would be like to truly kiss the man she loved. As the kiss ended, she smiled as she reached up to the back of his head. “I love you David, I love you so much.” She let go and held him close as she began to cry; not because she was sad but because she was happier than she ever been in her life. She never imagined that something like this would happen to her when she had come to Terra nearly three years ago with nothing more than the clothes on her back while knowing nobody.

“I love you, Alyssia,” he too held her close, “I love you so much.” He cradled the back of her head as they continued to dance with each other all while others looked on in wonderment and surprise at how the two of them had become so close in so little time. It was no secret to anyone that they had started dating not long ago.

As the two of them approached Alyssia’s dorm room, she turned to him took him into her arms and kissed him and it was much like the kiss they shared on the dance floor. As the kiss continued, she pushed him against the wall and deepened the kiss and as the seconds went by their breathing quickened as the intensity of the kiss continued to rise.

“My God,” he whispered as the kiss ended, “that was,” he swallowed hard, “intense!”

“You’re telling me!” Alyssia panted. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Great Maker! I’ve never felt so… alive before.” She took him into her arms again and simply held him in her arms, the simple feeling of having him, the man she loved, in her arms nearly brought her to tears for the second time that evening. “When I came here to Terra, I resigned myself to never finding someone to be with, never having someone to be able to share my life with yet here I am,” she backed away from him and stared into his beautiful blue eyes, “here I am seeing just how possible that is.” She took him into her arms again. “I love you, David.”

“I love you too, my Alyssia.”

“Well now,” a voice came from down the hall as they heard the sound of high-heeled shoes coming down towards them, “now this is an interesting sight to see.”

They both turned to the campus Gossip Queen herself and said ‘shut up Irida’ in unison. David spoke up. “Learn to bud out of people’s lives.” He turned back to her and once again stared into her beautiful purple eyes. “Good night, my Alyssia.” He once again gently took hold of her head and kissed her. “Good night my love.” As he walked away, she held her arms out to him for she didn’t want him to leave.

She turned around to see Irida still standing nearby. “Very interesting.”

“You know,” Alyssia stood before Irida with her hands on her hips, “can you ever not put your nose in other people’s private business? Not everyone wants everyone to know what they’re doing.”

“Ah,” Irida rubbed her hands together, “but this is so juicy! I can’t wait until the whole campus knows about this.” She walked away laughing all while Alyssia sighed and swore at her in Zaltaen. Just as Alyssia reached for her door, her door opened at which she saw Amanda standing in the doorway. “What the hell was that all about? What’s up with Miss Gossip?”

“She,” Amanda made way for Alyssia to walk in after which she closed the door behind her, “saw David and I kissing in the hallway and let me tell you,” Alyssia sat down on the couch across from her as she was standing before her, “it was no figurative peck on the lips.” She watched Amanda’s eyes go wide. “There was passion, emotion, and fire like I’ve never experienced before in that kiss we shared.” She touched her lips. “Great Maker, I thoroughly enjoyed every single passionate moment of that kiss.”

“That good, huh?” Amanda asked as she sat down next to her.

“Good?” She happily sighed. “It was better than good!” She closed her eyes. “And not only that but he told me right there on the dance floor as we were dancing with each other that he loved me.” She watched Amanda’s jaw drop open. “David told me loved me. Me!” She crossed her arms across her chest and hugged herself. “Me! An alien from another world! Me! He told me that he loved me. Great Maker!” She looked up at the ceiling as tears dripped down her cheeks. “This is everything I’ve ever wanted in my life ever since I came here to Terra after I was exiled from my world.” Amanda could hear her voice cracking with emotion.

Alyssia brought her gaze back down. “I’ve been waiting for so long to have someone come along and love me for what I am,” she looked down at her lap, “an alien from another world.” Amanda handed her a tissue. “And now I have it, I have what I’ve always wanted.” She looked to her friend as she wiped her eyes. “I love him Amanda, I love my David.”

Amanda came over to her and took her into her arms and held her. “I’m happy for you,” she rubbed her back, “I’m so happy for you. You’ve endured so much in your life, so much heartache, so much pain, so much loss. If there’s anyone who deserves to be loved and accepted for what and who you are, it’s you.”

“Thank you, Amanda,” she sniffled as she wiped her eyes again.

“There’s one thing though,” Amanda back away from her, “did you tell David that you loved him too? Because if you didn’t…” Alyssia interrupted her. “Of course, I did! I’m not that unaware of how this stuff works.”

“Hey there David,” Michael looked up as David walked into the room, “I saw you and Alyssia dancing, you two looked great out there. I’m assuming that you had a good time with her tonight.”

“Yeah,” he said down on the couch next to him, “I told her I loved her.”

“You what?” He turned on the couch to look at him. “You’re serious.”

“Serious,” David looked at his dormmate, “I told her that I loved her right there on the dance floor. I know it may seem rather quick since we really only started dating five months ago but seriously, I love her. I love Alyssia. I’ve never met someone quite like her before.”

“Well, she is an alien; there’s going to be nobody like her.”

“That’s not what I’m saying and you know it!” He looked back down his lap. “I don’t even know how to explain it. When I’m with her, I’m happy; happier than I’ve ever imagined being. And when I hold her in my arms like I did this evening on the dance floor, there’s a feeling that I can’t even begin to describe.” He looked back up at him. “I love her, there’s no doubt in my heart that I love her, I want to be with her. I don’t even know how to explain it but like I told her back when I started dating her, love is something you just know when you feel it and right now, I know it,” he looked back down at his lap, “I know I love her.”

He stood up. “Anyways, I’m going to call home; my mom and dad deserve to know.” David walked into his bedroom and sat down at his desk and pulled out his tablet and tried to call home. He hoped that his parents were home and that they’d take his call, it didn’t take long for him to if they would for the video call connected and he saw his mom on the other side of the call.

“Hey there mom!” David reached up and untied his bowtie. “How are you?”

“Hey there son, it looks like you came home from some kind of fancy party. What’s up?” She asked while she watched her son unbutton the collar of his shirt.

“Yeah,” he looked down at his datapad that was sitting on his desk beside the keyboard, “I have something rather important to tell you. It’s a recent development.” He could see a look of worry come over his mom’s face. “It’s nothing bad, in fact it’s good. Really good, in fact.” He looked at the picture of Alyssia and himself that had been taken at the night’s event. “You see, I’ve been dating this girl.”

“Ok.”

“We’ve been dating for about five months now, I just got back from Couple’s Night here on campus which is like the university’s answer to high school prom night. There’s food, dancing, drinking.” His mom’s eyes went wide open as he said that. “Don’t worry, the alcohol there at the party is highly regulated. You’re only allowed two drinks the whole night. However, back to how I’ve been dating this girl. I went with her tonight and we ate, drank, and we danced. In truth, I’ve been developing feelings for her for some time now.”

“Wow,” his mom nodded, “that’s good. I’m glad to hear that son.”

“I love her mom,” he picked his datapad back up and sent the picture of the two of them to his mom, “I just sent you a picture of the two of us that was taken at the event tonight.” A second or two later he heard her datapad ding indicating that she had received the photo. “I wanted you to know about her before I…” he stopped as he watched his mom smile.

“Aww,” she looked back up at the camera, “you two look cute together. She’s also very…” he watched her mom look closely at the photo of them and clasped her hands to her mouth as she gasped. “She’s not human.”

“That’s right,” David nodded, “she’s not human; Alyssia’s a Zaltaen.”

“Son,” she paused as she watched her son’s reaction, “are you sure about this?” She paused. “Are you even sure she can love you like you love her? I mean, it’s obvious from the way you’re acting that she means a lot to you and that you love her very much. I just don’t want to see your heart be broken by someone who can’t love you in return.”

“Mom.” He looked down and without looking up, he began again. “I have been with her; I’ve held her in my arms. I’ve spent the better part of five months with her. I’d like to think that I know how she feels about me.” He looked back up. “When I was on the dance floor with her and holding her, I told her that I loved her. And do you know what she did when I told her that I loved her?” He watched his mother shake her head. “She began to cry and for a Zaltaen, that’s quite significant.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Zaltaens are generally brought up as early as a young child on their world to have a rather strong control over their emotions. There’s been a few times when I’ve witnessed her mental control nearly coming to a breaking point but to have it completely break right there in my arms and have her start crying as she told me she loved me too was some seriously significant stuff. For a Zaltaen, that’s… that’s significant right there. And not only that but even as far back as four months ago, she was worried that she would lose me.”

“Why is that?”

“She was worried about if I’d leave her what with how she was so insecure about how others on campus were looking at the two of us and otherwise whispering about us. And then there’s how back when she and I started dating, she told me that I was… different.” His mom was about to speak when David continued. “Alyssia told me that I didn’t look at her like an alien and it’s true, I don’t look at her like an alien; not one bit.”

“David,” his mother sighed, “I don’t know about this.”

“When you meet her and you see us together, you’ll understand. You know we have a break coming up in about four months.” He watched his mom nod. “It’s about two months where we have in between semesters, I plan on coming home during that time.”

“Yeah, I was hoping you were going to come home; you didn’t come home last year. I remember you telling me that you spent time bopping around Europe.” He nodded. “Yep, that I did. It was a wonderful experience seeing Europe like I did. I have a lot of photos to show you when I get home. But yeah, I plan on coming home in four months and I’m bringing Alyssia with me.”

“You’re what?” His mom asked completely shocked that he would bring her along on a trip home without consulting her first. “Why didn’t you ask me first?”

“It’s not like I’m not giving you a heads-up on this mom. I’m telling you this now so that you’re not surprised when I show up at home with her with me. Right?” He asked as he watched his mom deadpan.

“But why?” his mom asked. “Doesn’t she have somewhere to go herself? Family to see as well?”

David shook his head. “She has nowhere to go.”

“But why bring her here?” His mom asked.

“Because I want to, I want to show her how much she means to me by inviting her to meet the both of you. I’ve been telling her for weeks now that I know you’ll accept her, don’t make a liar out of me.”

“David!” His mom exclaimed. “That’s not what I mean,” she shook her head, “and you know it! I’m just worried about you. After your last relationship, can you blame me? You spent months all depressed over that girl.” David shook his head. “I know mom, but that’s not the case here; I know it. I’m going to bring her with me and you’ll see for yourself. Trust me,” he nodded, “once you meet her, you’ll understand.”

It was sinking into her that her son was serious about this. “Alright,” she looked up at the camera, “is there anything we need to get her when she comes? Any special dietary requirements? Are there foods that she can’t eat? Do we need to get special food for her?” She asked because she didn’t know anything about Zaltaens.

“Nope,” he shook his head, “surprisingly her metabolism is similar that of ours; they need the same basic nutrients that humans need. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc. Seriously, despite how different they look when compared to us, namely how they have purple skin, blue hair,” he reached up at pointed at his ears, “pointed ears like elves, and their oh so stunningly beautiful purple eyes that I could get lost… sorry, I went off on a tangent,” his mom smirked as he said that about her, “they’re really not that different from us. That’s the point I’m driving at mom. They, like us, have the same basic needs and wants; they want to be loved and accepted just like us.”

“Is there any kind of food that she really likes?”

“Oh yeah,” David began to laugh, “she loves pasta and chicken parmesan.”

“Chicken parmesan.” His mom was shocked. “Really?”

“Yes really,” he smiled, “you should see her when the café here on campus serves it. It may be the most mundane food but when they serve it, you should see how her eyes light up. She loves pizza too.” He watched her shake her head. “However,” he yawned, “it’s been a long day and I’m a little buzzed from the party that we had on campus. I’d like to get to bed.”

“Alright son, good night. And I’ll reserve judgement of her until I meet her.” She kissed the tips of her finger and put it to the screen. “I promise.”

“That’s all I ask of you mom, that’s all I ask.” He yawned. “Good night.”

Meanwhile on Mars, Marissa, David’s mom, walked into the living room where Steven, her husband, was watching a sports game on the vid. She sat down on the couch in a flop. Steven noticed that something was troubling her.

“Computer,” the computer dinged indicating that it had detected his activation phrase, “pause vid show.”

“Certainly,” the computer responded and the computer paused the vid show.

“Marissa,” Steven reached turned to her as she laid against him, “what’s going? What’s wrong?” He took her into his arms and hugged her. “What’s wrong honey? Did David say something?”

“Yeah,” she sighed. “Our son’s in love.”

“What?!” Steven exclaimed. “That’s good! It’s about time he found someone that he loves. I don’t understand why you’re like this when our son’s found someone to be happy with.”

“That’s the thing,” she turned to look at him, “his girlfriend, the one that he told her he loved, isn’t… human. She’s a Zaltaen.” She looked down again. “He sounds so hopeful about their relationship together but I just hope he knows what he’s getting himself into after all. I mean yes,” she looked down, “he told me that despite how different they look they really aren’t that different from us.”

“Then what’s the problem?” Steven asked. “I have a friend at work whose son in also dating a Zaltaen girl and he says the same thing. They’ve been dating for a year now and they’re already talking getting married. As long as this girl loves him,” he shrugged, “I don’t have problem with our David dating her. I hope you told him that you’ll reserve judgement of her until you meet her.”

“Yes,” Marissa looked up, “of course I did. As for what you said, I hope you’re right,” she took hold of her husband’s hand and gave it a squeeze, “I just don’t want to have to deal with David being all brokenhearted again. You remember the last time, right?” Steven nodded. “Don’t remind me! He damn near failed Xeno Biochemistry because of her.”

“That’s what I mean!” She exclaimed. “I don’t want that to happen to him again, he was depressed for weeks after that happened to him. To this day I still don’t understand why she left him like she did and for that matter, why she had to be so cruel about it. I mean, what the hell possessed her to do that to him?”

“Who knows?!” he exclaimed. “But I get it,” he hugged his wife, “you just want to protect our son.” She looked his way. “But you also have to let him live his life.  After all, he’s on Terra over a million kilometers away, starting his own life. You can’t protect him his whole life.”

“I know,” she looked down at her lap, “it’s a mother thing. It’s just like how Katy looks to you,” she looked back up, “she always has.” He agreed with her. “Anyways, he asked me to promise him that I will not pass judgement on… Alyssia until we meet her.”

“Is that this girl’s name?”

“Uh-huh,” she nodded, “that’s our son’s girlfriend.”

“Alright then, we will not pass judgement upon her until we meet her. Think about it,” he hugged her again, “she may be the best thing for him but until we meet her, we see her, and talk with her, we don’t know her. All we can do is believe our son. Right?” She nodded. “So anyways,” he kissed her cheek at which she smiled, “go get ready for bed, I’ll be right after you.”

Marissa stood up from the couch and looked down at her husband. “I just hope you’re right, for David’s sake.” With that, she turned and walked away and walked back into their bedroom while Steven requested the computer resume his sports game. Marissa, on the other hand, whispered in hopes that David knew what he was doing and Alyssia wouldn’t break his heart.

The next morning David woke up and picked his datapad up and once again looked at the photo of him and Alyssia in each other’s arms on the dance floor, he kissed the tips of his fingers and touched them to the screen. “I love you, my Alyssia.” He threw the covers off of him and proceeded to get dressed, he had plans to take Alyssia out for breakfast that morning.

As he walked out of his bedroom, he found Alyssia sitting on the couch in the common room of the dorm that he shared with Michael. “How’d you get in here?”

“Michael let me in,” she looked to Michael had walked out the room, “he figured that after what we did last night, we’d want some time alone so he’s gone out for the day.”

“Yeah.” David walked across the room and sat down next to her. “There’s something I need to tell you.”

“Ok,” she looked to him worriedly especially since he had told her what he had told her the night before, namely how he had told her that he loved her. She had to wonder if that was only something he said in the heat of the moment.

“First off,” he reached over and rubbed her back, “before you say anything, I meant what I said last night about how I love you. It’s why I told my mom about you last night.” A look of shock came over her, what he had said was not at all what she was expecting at all. “Yes Alyssia, I told my mom all about you and yes, I told her that you are a Zaltaen. I even sent her the photo of us holding each other last night. It’s also why when our two-month time between class semesters comes up, I’m taking you with me to meet my parents. I don’t want you to have to stay in a cheap dingy motel while I’m gone for two months.”

“Seriously?” She asked, she could hardly believe what she was hearing.

“Uh huh,” he nodded. “I want to take you to see my parents. My mom has reservations about us being together like we are,” she looked to the floor as he said that in worry, “but I asked her, no… I pleaded with her to promise me to withhold any reservations about you until she meets you. I told her that once she meets you, she’ll understand why I,” he held his arms out and took her into his arms again, “love you like I do. But now,” he let go of her, “I want to take you out for breakfast and enjoy our Saturday together.”

He was about to stand up when she called to him. “David?” She held her hand out to him. “Stay.” She took hold of his hand. “I want to tell you something that you should know about me.” He had a feeling where the conversation was going to go. “I want you to know what happened to me that caused me to be cast out of my House.” David sat next to her and put an arm around her. “As you know, for the longest time, many of my people had been hiding among your people.”

“Yeah,” he nodded, “I know all about that. It’s why many of my people hated your people.”

She then went onto explain everything about what happened to her on her world and why she had ended up on Terra. Much of their conversation included him holding her as she finally let him know how it really felt to have been betrayed by everyone she knew and loved and the pain that she had endured and held bottled up for so long. During which, all he could do was hold her as she sobbed against him as she recalled every single heartbreaking moment of how she felt as the people who she once thought were her friends, family, and allies physically and figuratively turned their backs on her as she was led out of the Great Hall of her Zaltaen House.

In a lot of ways, he knew that this was good for her to finally let it all out; she needed to let go of what she had been bottling up inside but to see her sobbing like she was in his arms, it broke his heart to know that the woman he loved was in and had experienced so much pain in her life. All he could do was simply hold her and be there for the woman he loved in her time of need.

Later that Saturday evening as David was laying on his bed trying to get to sleep, the thoughts and feelings of holding Alyssia in his arms as she sobbed against him came back. He thought he was ready for anything in their relationship but that was different, holding her and feeling how the sobs wracked her body was something that he just never saw coming and it left him devastated that her people could do such a horrible thing to her.

Sure, he knew Zaltaen culture when it came to dishonoring a House but to hear her explain in detail how it felt to have that happen to her was a different story. His Zaltaen classes had said that that was their culture and that humans needed to understand them. “Different cultures, my ass,” he said to no one, “there’s understanding a different culture. Accepting them is different.”

He closed his eyes when the door to his room opened. “David?” Michael asked. “Alyssia’s here. She wants to see you.”

“About what?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” he watched Michael shrug his shoulders, “she didn’t say.” That was when Alyssia showed up in the doorway to his bedroom. “David?” She called to him. Just the sound of her voice once again broke his heart for it was filled with such sadness and pain. “I want to stay here with you tonight.” She said in Zaltaen so as to not have Michael know what she had said, she doubted that he even knew the language. “Please,” he could hear her pleading, “I don’t want to sleep alone tonight.” Again, she said that in Zaltaen.

“Michael?” he called to him. “Can you leave us?” With that Michael left the two of them and so Alyssia walked the rest of the way into his bedroom, closed the door, and locked it.

“Does your dormmate, Amanda, know you’re here?” He asked as she sat down at the foot of the bed wearing what had to be some kind of house coat.

“Uh-huh,” she looked down at the ground, “she knows. In fact,” she looked over at him, “she was the one who told me that I should come to you tonight since I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been tossing and turning for the last hour.” She looked back down the floor. “I hope you don’t mind me coming here at such a late hour.”

“Of course, I wouldn’t mind.”

He watched her untie the sash around her waist and take the house coat off and as she let it drop to the floor, he was shocked just how much their anatomy was similar to that of humans. Sure, he had studied Zaltaen Biology as part of his xenobiology studies but to see a scantily clad Zaltaen woman standing in front of him was completely different. She was a woman in every way including how it was obvious that she had breasts, her hips were wider, and course, she had an hourglass figure just like a human woman.

He had to wonder if some of the ideas that were floating about the astrophysics classes had merit in that all sentient species in the galaxy began because comets had deposited the makings for DNA throughout the cosmos. Then there was the theology side that believed that both species, humans and Zaltaens, were created by the same God-figure. Either way the anatomies of both of their species shared a striking resemblance.

“What?” she asked as she saw him eyeing her up and down.

“Uh,” he found his voice after his mind began working again, “nothing. I was just taking note how about just how much we’re alike.”

It was then that she realized what she was wearing, namely a light purple nightie that while it covered up the more private parts of her body, it left much of her skin exposed. She supposed that she probably would’ve worn something that covered up a bit more had she known that she was going to be coming over to David’s place but she was already there and if she were to go back to her place and get something else to wear, it would only raise suspicion with his dormmate as to what they were up to and she didn’t want to do that.

“Come here honey.” He picked up a corner of his covers and opened his bed to her. “Come lay down.” He watched her gulp rather hard as she climbed into bed and laid down next to him after which he pulled the covers back over the two of them. As she laid down next to him, he heard her sigh and the rate of her breathing slow down. “Alyssia?” He asked but heard no response. “Nevermind,” he whispered as he felt her move slightly to get closer to him. He turned to her and kissed her forehead. “Good night my love.”

The next morning David opened his eyes to find Alyssia staring at him with those oh so stunningly beautiful purple eyes that she had and hugged her close. “Hey there,” he kissed her lips, “for someone who,” he smirked, “said she had trouble sleeping, you were out,” he snapped his fingers, “like a light.” She smiled. “I guess that all you needed was me then.”

“Yeah,” she kissed him again, “thank you David.” She closed her eyes in shame. “I’m sorry for bothering you like this; I just couldn’t sleep after all that we talked about yesterday morning.”

“Oh honey,” he hugged her close, “it’s not a bother at all.” He heard her sigh as he said that. “I’m just happy you felt comfortable and trusted me enough to come to me in this kind of situation.” He kissed her again. “If you have problems again, come to me. That’s what all of this is about, this is what human relationships are about. I’m here for you just like I know you’d be there for me if something happened in my life.”

“I’m happy,” she laid her head back down on his pillow, “to know that.” She snuggled up close to him. “I love you, David.” He heard her sigh. “And I love you too Alyssia.” He held her close and smiled. “Let’s stay like this awhile longer.”

“Yeah, that sounds perfect.” She kissed his neck and put her hand on his chest. He, meanwhile, couldn’t believe that this was happening to him; the woman he loved was actually in his bed and had slept next to him that night. His mind began to race as he began to think about how their relationship was going to change from this point forward. Perhaps she was ready to take things to the next level but he dared not assume that.

Unbeknownst to him, she too was thinking about how their relationship would change from that point on. At first, when she had laid down next to him, she had been hesitant about doing so because that just wasn’t her people’s way. The thought of laying down with someone, even to just sleep with them outside of what her people called ‘partnerships’, was strictly forbidden. She even knew someone, a good friend of hers back on Zalta, who had given into their more physical desires and had done what she was doing with David and she, like herself, had been cast out of her House by her matriarch for as the matriarch of her House had said, she had brought great shame down upon her House.

Yet here she was on a world that didn’t have such negative views about doing such physical things and as she laid down next to him and felt the warmth of his body and his oh so gentle touch and heard the sound of his beating heart and his breathing, she found that she enjoyed the intimacy of the whole experience. And she wanted more, much more. Months ago, she would’ve been embarrassed for having such kinds of thoughts as she laid next to David but now things were different. She was different.

Half an hour later, Alyssia sat up and sat on the side of the bed. “Where are you going?” He reached for her. “You don’t have to go anywhere? It’s the weekend. We have nowhere to go.”

“But don’t you want to go get something to eat?” She looked down at her stomach. “I’m starving.” She was about to reach for his door when he called to her. “You might not want to go out there undressed.”

“Oh shit!” she cursed. “Yeah,” she turned about, “you’re right. What do you suppose I do?”

“Well,” he stood up from his bed, “why don’t you stay here while I go take a shower and afterwards, I’ll go back to your dorm and get something for you to wear. Amanda is bound to be there, right?” Alyssia sat back down on his bed. “Let me go take my shower.” She nodded as he walked into his bathroom and within a few seconds she could hear the sound of flowing water thanks to her enhanced Zaltaen hearing.

She looked about the room and once again marveled at how much of a geek he was due to how many science fiction posters he had up on the walls of the dorm but he certainly didn’t act like it. But that was when she remembered him telling her that what she often saw in vid shows was a stereotype that he often said he hated.

She laid back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling and patiently waited for him to walk out of the bathroom. That was when she realized that there was a good likelihood that she would see him get dressed and for that matter, he would see her get dressed. Considering all that had happened in the last seventy-two hours between them including how they had told each other they loved each other and how they shared a bed, she thought back to how she had been laying next to him and nodded. “I want this,” she said to no one as she looked down, “I want more.” It was then that she began to think about getting a bigger dorm room where she and David could be together permanently; she just wondered if he too would want that.

A few minutes later, she watched him walk out of the bathroom wearing a pair of boxer shorts much like the pair that he had gone in wearing except this pair were a different color. It was then that she found herself mesmerized by the sight of him getting dressed in front of her in what looked like a pair of nicer looking khakis-colored pants, a black-colored polo shirt, and a pair of white and blue athletic shoes.

“Were you watching me get dressed?” The sound of his voice snapped her out of her thoughts.

“Yes,” she looked down at herself, “do you have a problem with that?”

“Well, no,” he leaned over her and kissed her, “I figured you would and no.” She was shocked to hear that he wasn’t surprised by how she had watched him. “But anyways,” he went for his door, “I’m going to go to your place and grab some stuff for you to wear. In the meantime,” he thumbed over his shoulder towards his bathroom, “you can use my shower.”

“Alright,” she stood up from the bed and as the door to his bedroom closed, she reached up and slid the spaghetti straps that were holding her nightie on herself off of her shoulders and let the nightie fall to the floor as she walked into the shower and closed the door.

As David walked out of his bedroom, he saw Michael sitting on the couch. “So, what did you do with her last night? Did you two…” David stopped him. “No,” he pointed at him, “no we didn’t. We just slept together, that’s it. And I mean sleep, actual sleep. Not the euphemistic use of the word if you catch my drift.”

Dude!” Michael exclaimed. “I know, you don’t have to be so defensive about it. I figured that that’s all you two did last night considering how silent it was in your room.”

“Oh,” David looked to the floor. “But anyways, I got to go back to Alyssia’s place and get her something to wear. She’s taking a shower,” he thumbed over at his room, “in my bathroom.” With he walked out of the dorm leaving Michael no time to ask him anything more and him shaking his head.

David walked down to Alyssia’s dorm and knocked on her door, with a few seconds he heard Amanda’s voice. “Who is it?” To which he answered. “Who do you think?” At once she opened the door. “Where’s Alyssia?” she asked as she stood in the doorway.

“She’s,” he thumbed down towards his dorm, “at my place taking a shower.” As he said that several girls walked by and began whispering. “I came here to come get some stuff for her to wear for today.”

“Come on in,” Amanda motioned for him to come in. “Let me go into her room and see if I can scrounge up something for her to wear.” She was about to walk off when she turned back to him. “What plans do you have in mind for the two of you today?” She asked as he sat down on their couch.

“Why does it matter?” he asked.

Amanda began to laugh. “It’s a girl thing, you’ll never understand.” That of course made David roll his eyes. “But anyways, what are you two planning on doing today?”

David shook his head and rolled his eyes. “If you must know, I was thinking about taking her to the mall.” He watched Amanda reach up and rub her chin in thought. “You know, to walk about, check out some stores have something to eat at the eatery, catch an early afternoon movie at the theater. That sort of thing.”

“That sounds good. What else?”

“What else?” he asked. “What do you mean… what else?” He wondered where she was going with that line of thinking.

“Do I have to beat it out of you?” She put her hands on her hips. “You just told the girl you’ve been with for nearly six months that you love her and not only that but she just spent the night in your bed and slept with you. Don’t you think that you want to get her something? A gift perhaps?” She deadpanned. “Oh, I don’t know. A piece of jewelry that shows her how much you love her.”

“Well, yes, I already have plans on doing that for her. I have a gold necklace and a heart-shaped pendant in mind,” he watched her slowly nod her head in approval as she rubbed her chin, “I’ve been looking at it on the jeweler’s web site for the past week. Maybe I’ll get that for her today and surprise her by taking her to the store and buy it for her right there in front of her.”

“That sounds like a great idea and I know she’d love that!” Amanda headed for the door. “But let me go get some stuff for her, however in the meantime, go back to your place and I’ll bring something to you.”

“Got it,” with that David walked out of their dorm room and went back to his. Sure enough, five minutes later Amanda was back with some clothes for Alyssia along with her purse and datapad that she was sure she would want if she were to go out on a date with David.

“Which is your room?”

“Give it to me,” he held his hands out for her clothing. “I’ll take her clothing in there.”

“When if she’s naked in there?” She put her hands on her hips. “Did you ever think of that?” She looked at him with that kind of look that said he was an idiot for not thinking that was a possibility.

“I didn’t think about that.” He pointed at the door on the left. “That’s my bedroom.” Amanda walked into his room and put the clothing on his bed only to find that Alyssia was still in his shower.

“Hey Alyssia,” she looked her head into the bathroom, “are you ok in there?”

“Yeah,” Alyssia called over the shower, “I’ve not even began to shower yet. I’m just letting the hot water…” Amanda interrupted her. “Yeah well, David is waiting for you out on the couch.” She was about to walk out when she smacked her forehead. “Oh yeah,” she said as Alyssia stuck her head out the shower curtain, “I brought you some clothing, it’s waiting on David’s bed. David’s going to be taking you to the mall so I brought you something appropriate to wear while enjoying a day out with him.”

“Why didn’t David bring my stuff to me?” She asked, hoping that he had brought her the clothing instead of Amanda.

“I told him not to,” Alyssia rolled her eyes as Amanda said that behind the shower curtain, “I told him that there was a possibility of you being naked in here and that it’d probably be best if I were to bring your clothing in.” With that Amanda walked out leaving Alyssia banging her head against the wall of the shower. “Damn it, Amanda!” She cursed. “You do not get to make that kind of decision for me!” She then went to actually taking her shower instead just letting the water fall over her since she knew that David was waiting for her.

Amanda walked out of the room and headed for the door when David looked up from reading. “Where are you going so fast?”

“Sorry,” she looked at her chronometer, “I have to get going. I have a meeting across campus with my professor.” She was about to walk out of his dorm when she turned back to him. “Have fun with Alyssia.” With that she walked out of his dorm room leaving him sitting on his couch to read the campus newsletter which he made a point to do so every weekend to know what’s happening on the campus.

He must have gotten lost in the article that he had been reading for the next thing he knew was that Alyssia was standing over him wearing a light-purple university t-shirt, jean shorts that looked like they had been cut off from a pair of regular jeans, black tights, white socks that had been folded over at the ankle and a pair of purple athletic shoes to finish off her outfit. Her hair was, as always, tied at the back of her head in a ponytail.

“What’s up?” he asked as she looked up to see the shadow of her standing over him.

“I’m ready to go,” she held her hand out to him to which he took hold of it and allowed her to pull him up only to have him gently take her into his arms. “Are you good now?” He asked as he rubbed her back. “Are you ok now?”

“I’m better,” she whispered into his ear, “not good,” she felt him rub her back again, “but I will be.” She looked him in his beautiful blue eyes. “I will be soon.” She kissed him and as the kiss ended, she smiled. “Thanks to you, my love.”

“You know that I’m here for you.” He held her close again. “You know that. Right?” He felt her nod against him. “I love you.” He could hear her sniffle as she again nodded against his shoulder. “I wouldn’t be so worried about you if I didn’t love you like I do. Are you going to be alright?”

“I love you too, David.” She rubbed his back. “And I don’t want you to be worried about me like that. I’ll be fine.” She backed away from him and reached up to wipe her eyes. “I just need some time to process all the feelings that I have regarding what happened to me back on Zalta. That’s all. I’ve not taken the time to do that, most Zaltaens don’t do this kind of thing.”

“Yeah,” he reached up and rubbed her shoulders, “I know.” He shook his head. “I’m just worried about you, that’s all.”

“I know,” she smiled, “I appreciate how you’re worried about me.”

“Do you still, you know, want to go out today?”

“Of course,” she grabbed hold of his hand and pulled him behind her, “I want to go with you to the mall.” She reached for his door and opened it just as people walked by. “I’ve never been to the mall before.”

“You haven’t?” He asked as he came up beside her and put his hand on the small of her back. “Then where did you go shopping with Amanda?”

“A place called Forever 21.”

“Ah,” he hummed, “it’s in the strip mall part of the complex. Where we’re going is inside the mall, it’s fully enclosed.” They approached the elevator and as they entered the elevator, she pressed the G button for the garage. “You’re going to love it. It’s got everything you could ever want.” He watched her reached for the handle of his passenger side door and climbed inside. He too climbed into the car on his side. “You could spend a whole day there.” He put the car in gear. “There’s lots of stores we can go to, there’s even a movie theater where we can catch an early afternoon movie, and afterwards we can a snack in the eatery.” He watched her eyes light up. “See? I knew you were going to like that!”

“Yeah,” she looked up as she saw the light of day come into view as David exited the parking garage.

“And then later this evening we can have dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant that’s in the mall. Does that sound good to you?”

“Wow,” she whispered as she took hold of his hand. “That sounds nice.”

“I thought so.”

After a few minutes of watching David driving through the streets of downtown Berlin, Alyssia began to wonder if maybe she could learn to drive. “David?” she asked. “How can I learn to drive a car like you?”

“What?” he asked as he came to a stop at a stop light.

“I want to learn to drive a car. How can I go about doing that?”

“Um.” He thought back to when he had first arrived at the university and how he had to learn to drive. “There’s a driving class that you can take at the university, they’ll give you all the instruction you need. It’s the same class I took when I came here to Terra from Mars.”

“Really?” she asked. “They have a class on campus to learn how to drive?”

“Of course, they do!” he exclaimed. “A lot of students who come to the Free University of Berlin come from all over human space. Some come from space habitats where there’s no need to drive a car and others come from planets where they do drive cars. Those students who come from space habitats need to learn to drive, you know.” The light turned green. “I came from a domed colony on Mars where everyone uses transport tubes to get around so I,” he pointed at himself, “had to learn to drive a car if I wanted to go to places in the city.”

“Oh.” She frowned; she had hoped that he would teach her to drive.

“I take it that you had hoped that I’d teach you.”

“Well yeah,” she looked back up at him.

“Yeah,” he reached over and took hold of her hand, “but I’d be doing you a disservice if I taught you to drive myself. Having someone who’s a professional instructor teach you to drive would be better for you.”

“I see,” she frowned again. “I’ll look into taking that class later.” In the meantime, she was looking at the dormitory registration page on the university’s website. After sleeping next to David, the night before and enjoying having him sleeping next to her, she was seriously thinking about making such an arrangement permanent. She gasped as she noticed that there were some bigger rooms available for couples like they were but when she noticed that there weren’t many left, she damn near slammed her finger down on her datapad’s screen to reserve the room as fast as she could. Meanwhile, David continued driving along not knowing that she had reserved a room for the two of them.

As they came closer to the mall, they noticed a protest outside the mall’s main entrance and the people involved in the protest were all holding signs saying that people like her should go back to Zalta and that they had no place being on Terra.

“And here I thought that humans finally were starting to accept Zaltaens like me.”

“I know,” he reached over and patted her knee to reassure her, “I thought so too.” That’s when a person who was involved in the protest noticed that Alyssia was sitting in the car with him as they drove by. “Let’s get away from these assholes before they start trouble with us.” He put the car in gear while people gave chase but as he sped off, the people gave up running after him. After going clear around to the other side of the mall, they came to one of the other entrances. “Alright,” he looked about as they drove by the entrance door, “there’s no idiots at this entrance.” She chuckled at the idea of him calling them what he had called them. “We can go in this way instead.”

Later that evening they were standing outside the Italian restaurant where he had planned to take Alyssia. Their whole afternoon was filled with shopping and even more shopping as Alyssia had, much to David’s dismay, dragged him into every clothing store they had in the mall where she had bought what had to be hundreds of credits of new clothing.

For her, it was surprising that he was bringing her to such a place since she knew that the restaurant was rather known for being on the expensive side, even more so than Murray’s which she had been to many times in the past. She knew that he had quite a bit of money that he had saved up from tutoring that one person who he claimed to have charged her double for his tutoring services. Though she had a problem with him charging her like that, she had to admit that it did have some benefits in the sense that it allowed him to treat her to things such as where they were going now.

“Here we are my love.” They approached the hostess who just so happened to be a Zaltaen. “Table for two please.”

“Right this way.” The Zaltaen girl who couldn’t have been much older than she was, led them to a table towards the back of the restaurant. The first thing that she noticed that the restaurant had a much more subdued atmosphere to it than most places that David had taken her to. It was rather dark throughout the restaurant with only the tables being lit with the soft glow of a light fixture hanging from above the tables. It was also much quieter than other places where he had taken her in the past, she imagined that it was that way so as to allow for a more romantic setting for couples to dine with each other much like they were.

“In you go,” David motioned for Alyssia to climb into the seat. As he sat down next to her, she snuggled up close to him an took hold of his arm. “Is this what is referred to as a romantic setting?” She asked as she looked about the restaurant and the other people dining at other tables. “This is nice.”

“I’m glad you like it; I’ve been meaning to bring you here; we’ve just never had the time.”

A few moments passed as she began to think about a way to break the ice regarding what she was going to ask him. After some time, she decided to just go for it. “David?” He looked up from the drink menu that had been placed on the table by their hostess. “There’s something I need to ask you.”

“Oh?” He asked. “What’s wrong?”

She looked down at the table as she leaned against him. “Nothing’s wrong. In fact, everything is going great. Better than I had ever hoped for considering everything that’s happened to me in my life. It’s just that,” she looked up, “after how I slept next to you last night I began to think about some things.” He began to worry that maybe he should’ve done the more responsible thing and simply talked to her and afterwards have her go back to her place. Meanwhile, she could see the look of worry on his face. “Oh no,” she reached up and touched his chin as she gently pulled his face to look her way, “please don’t think that way.” She leaned in closer to him. “I don’t regret that we slept together last night, not one bit.” She bit her lower lip. “I enjoyed every moment with you and to be honest, I’ve never slept so peacefully since I came here to Terra nearly two years ago.

“It’s why I want to ask you something.” She pulled out her datapad and showed him the university web site that she had pulled up in the car. “Would you be opposed to having us be together?”

“As in?” he asked while wondering what she meant by that.

“You know,” she scrolled down on the page and showed her datapad to him, “sharing a room together.”

“Uh.” David was shocked, he didn’t at all expect to hear that from her considering how he knew that Zaltaens were a rather conservative people that didn’t believe in doing such things outside of what they referred to as partnerships. Based upon his Zaltaen sociology classes he knew that doing such a thing back on Zalta was a scandalous thing to do yet here she was asking for that kind of arrangement. “Are you sure about this?” He asked as he put his hand on her thigh. “I know how Zaltaens are about things…” She spoke up. “Yes David,” she scrolled down the page to show that she had already reserved a room for the two of them. “I’ve already reserved a room for the two of us, I’m just waiting for the approval email to tell me that we have it.”

“I see.” He sighed. “But you know that there’s a very good chance that we’ll be seeing each other getting dressed and for that matter, being naked while…” She once again interrupted him as she laid her hand atop his that was resting on her thigh. “I know that and before you ask, I’m not worried about that happening between us. I wouldn’t have put my request to have such an arrangement for you if I wasn’t going to be comfortable with that happening.”

“But I know how Zaltaens are when it comes to this kind of stuff.”

“David, it sounds like you don’t want to do this with me.” He could see the look of disappointment on her face as she began to scroll down the page to where the cancel button was. She was about to tap the cancel button when he took hold her hand. “What are you doing?” she asked as her finger was hovering mere centimeters from the screen, poised to tap the button.

“I’m stopping you from making a monumental mistake.” He took hold of her hands. “Think about it, we’re going to be living together. Not just sometimes, this is going to be all the time. You understand that, right?” She nodded indicating that she understood. “I know that David,” she gently squeezed his hands, “and I don’t take this kind of decision lightly. I want this. I,” he saw how she was starting to get flustered at the idea that he didn’t want the same thing she wanted, “I thought you’d want this too. Am I wrong in assuming that you’d want this kind of arrangement with me?”

“I do!” He exclaimed. “Don’t get me wrong, I do want this. I do want to live with and be with you.”

“Then why are you being so… hesitant about this?”

“Because,” he sighed. “I care a lot about you. You know that right?” She nodded as she watched his facial expressions. “But most of all, I love you.” He sighed as he looked down. “I just want to make sure that you really want this and that you’re not making this kind of decision for the wrong reasons; namely thinking that it’ll please me.” He heard her chuckle. “It all comes down to what I told you back when we first started dating. Remember what I told you?” She spoke up. “Yes, I know David.” She squeezed his hands. “I remember what you told me, you told me that you’d never pressure me into doing something I wasn’t ready for. But this is different, this isn’t you pressuring me. This is me,” she put one of her hands to her chest, “this is me wanting this. For the both of us.”

“I get it,” he hugged her, “nothing would make me happier than having you wake up next to me every morning and seeing your smiling face.” She looked down and smiled as he said that. “I have to admit that waking up to you next to me and having you hold me this morning was a great feeling.”

“I feel the same way, that’s why I wanted this.” Just then the waiter came to the table. “Good evening to the both of you. Would you like to start off with a drink this evening?”

“Yes,” David looked up from Alyssia, “Alyssia and I will have a bottle of your house Merlot.” Alyssia’s eyes lit up. “And in the meantime, we’d like see the menu.”

“Yes sir,” he bowed before them and walked away to put their drink order in.

“Wine?” Alyssia asked.

“I didn’t think you’d mind. Yes, I know,” he squeezed her hand, “Zaltaens generally don’t drink alcohol unless there’s a special occasion but I figured that since we’re about to embark on a new chapter in our relationship, wouldn’t that be something to celebrate?”

“Hmm,” she hummed, “I didn’t think about it that way but yes, I agree. It is indeed something to celebrate.”

“I’m glad you agree.”

“But to get back to what we were talking about before, I have to admit that I feel the same way you do. I slept better last night than I’ve ever slept since I came here to Terra. Just having you there with me,” she looked down and blushed, “gave me a sense of peace that I’ve been looking for… for a long time. It’s why I reserved the room.”

“I get it, I swear that as soon as your head hit my pillow you were out like a light.” He snapped his fingers for added dramatic effect. “You snuggled up close to me, draped your arm across me, and you were out.”

“That’s what I mean!” She exclaimed. “I’ve not slept that well in ages.”

“Well then,” he caressed her thigh once again, “we will have that.” Just then her datapad dinged. “You might want to check that.” She looked to her datapad and there was an email waiting for her indicating that her request for a bigger room for the two of them was approved. “Am I to assume that your request was approved?” he asked as he saw the look of surprise on her face.

“Yes,” she reached over to him and hugged him, “our request has been approved and we can move in as soon as tonight. Our CAC’s have already been approved to open the door of our new place.” A sense of excitement came over her. “David, you have no idea how much I can’t wait to spend more time with you. Aren’t you excited?”

“Well, yes… I am!” He exclaimed. “But how are you going to break it to Amanda? I’m sure that she’s going to be hurt that you’re leaving her. Right?” He watched Alyssia look down. “You had to know you’d have to do this. Right?” She nodded. “How long have you two been living together in the same dorm?”

“Since the beginning of the semester almost six months ago.”

“So yeah, she’s going to be hurt. She’s going to be losing her dormmate and most of all, her best friend.”

“What about Michael?” She asked. “What do you think he’s going to say?”

“Michael?” He scoffed. “He won’t mind. As long as the two of us can still compete in the dorm-wide Call of Duty tournaments, he won’t care where I am.” He laughed. “Men are different in this regard.”

He could see a look of worry on her face. “Just tell her that you want to move in with me, be honest with her. I’m sure she’ll understand since you know, we’ve become closer lately.” Just then she received a text message from Amanda asking why she was getting a new dormmate assigned to her. “Uh oh,” she showed David the text message she received, “she already knows.”

“Not a great way for her to find out.”

“No,” she shook her head, “not a great way at all.” She then went to typing a message back to her telling her that she’d talk to her later. A few seconds later Amanda replied back saying that she better have a good answer.

“But anyways my love,” he put his arm around her and kissed her cheek, “let’s not think about that for the time being and enjoy our evening together.”

“Yeah, I get it. Better to not think about such things now.”

“Exactly,” he took hold of her hand that was resting on her thigh, “better to think about more happy thoughts like the two of us being here like we are and enjoying ourselves.”

Just then the waiter came to the table and put two empty wine glasses on the table and filled one of them from the carafe and handed the glass to David at which he sniffed it leaving Alyssia wondering why he was doing that. He then took a taste of the wine and nodded. “Perfect, that will do.” The waiter then proceeded to fill the other glass and handed it to Alyssia who was holding her hand out to take hold of it.

As the waiter walked away, Alyssia took a sip of the wine. “Why did he do what he did with the wine?”

“Because,” David took another sip of the wine, “it’s tradition that the person at the table who orders the wine is the first person to taste it. If I didn’t like it, it gives the table the chance to perhaps choose a different wine.”

“I see,” Alyssia took another sip of the wine. “I like it. I can see how you thought it was a good idea to have it with our meal tonight.”

Later that evening, after the two of them had gotten back to the university campus, Alyssia was standing outside of her dorm room working up the courage to walk into her own dorm.

“Are you going to go in?” David asked. “Either way, you have to get your stuff.”

“I know,” she hung her head low, “I just wish that this situation didn’t have to happen this way. I really wished that she’d have learned that I was moving from me instead of a impersonal email message.”

“I know,” he rubbed her shoulders to comfort her, “I’ll have your back.” With that Alyssia reached for her door and opened it to find that Amanda was sitting on the couch waiting for her to come back.

“Alright,” Amanda said in a stern tone of voice, “what’s this about?” Her tone of voice changed. “Why are you leaving me? I thought we were friends.” Alyssia tried to interject when Amanda continued. “Was it something I did? Was it something I said? Tell me!” She pleaded as she waved her open hands in the air. “What’s wrong?” She looked down at the floor. “Tell me so I can fix things between us, I don’t want you to leave.” She looked back up. “You’re one of my best friends, we’ve lived together for months. Hell, almost a year!”

“Amanda,” Alyssia sat down next to her on the couch. “It’s nothing that you did…” David spoke up as he stood over the two women sitting on the couch. “Alyssia and I want to move in with each other.” Amanda’s eyes opened wide as she understood what David had said and Alyssia continued. “Yes, David and I want to live with each other.”

“Wait. What?” Amanda asked. “You’re kidding me.” Alyssia shook her head. “You’re not kidding me.” Alyssia nodded.

“Well then.” Amanda hugged her. “This situation changes… everything!” She stood back from her. “I’ve seen you two,” she looked to David and then back at Alyssia, “grow closer over the last five months faster than I’ve ever thought possible. I don’t know how you two have done it.”

Alyssia shrugged. “Don’t know but,” she got up from the couch and walked up to David and hugged him, “but I’m sure glad it happened between us.” She kissed his cheek. “Aren’t you, my David?”

“Uh-huh,” he kissed her.

“Alright you two, get a room.”

“We have a room.” Alyssia chuckled.

“Where is your new place?”

“Up there,” David pointed up, “it’s on the third floor.”

“Ah,” Amanda nodded, “I’ve heard of those rooms. I’ve never been in one but I’ve been told that they’re quite spacious, more than enough for two people like yourselves to have. I do hope that I’ll be able to come over and see it.”

“Of course, you can!” Alyssia exclaimed as David spoke up. “Once we get all settled in, we’ll have you over as a sort of housewarming party. All you need to do is bring the drinks and we’ll provide the food.”

“Sounds great,” she yawned. “But I’m sure you two want to go check out your new place so go on you two, go enjoy yourselves.”

“David?” Alyssia turned to David. “Let me go get some things and I’ll be up. Obviously, I can’t bring everything tonight.” Amanda spoke up. “I’ll help you move your other stuff tomorrow.”

“Thank you,” she looked over her shoulder and then back at David. “I’ll get some stuff to wear tomorrow and I’ll be up.”

“Same goes for me.” David kissed her again. “See you upstairs.” With that David left the dorm to go back to his dorm to get some things to wear the next day much like Alyssia was doing.

David waved his CAC by the card reader by the door and the door unlocked. “Hmm,” he hummed, “Alyssia must have told them to program my CAC for the room as well.” He pushed the door open and marveled at all the space that the two of them would have.

“Wow,” he walked about what he imagined was a living room of sorts where there was a vid screen hanging on the wall and a couch and two chairs. Towards the back of the room was rather large table with several tables around it which he imagined was part of some kind of kitchen setup yet there wasn’t a stove, there was however a refrigerator. Small it may have been but it was perfect for things like drinks and a few leftovers.

He walked into the bedroom and laid down on the bed as he heard the sound of the door’s lock unlock and the door opened to see Alyssia walk in and look about the room. “Well now,” she nodded as she switched to Zaltaen, “I have to admit, I like it. Though I do have to admit that the bed is bigger than the one we shared a few nights ago.”

“True,” he patted the bed beside him, “this is a bed that’s made for two people as versus the one that we shared which is made for only one person.”

“That may be true,” she sat on the side of the bed to take her shoes off and then climbed atop the bed and crawled over to him, “but that didn’t stop us from sharing it.” David looked up as she was looking down at him and held his arms up upon which she laid down atop him. “Very true,” he wrapped his arms around her and held her close. “The bed may be bigger but that doesn’t mean we have to use the whole bed you know.”

“I was hoping you were going to say that.” She smirked as she pressed herself against him and while she had done so she could feel how a particular part of his body was reacting to how she was pressing herself against him. “Well now,” she sat up and straddled his hips, “I do believe that someone is ready for some fun.”

Continue to Chapter 14…

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