Space 2315… Peace, Chapter 14

“You look fine,” David was futzing with his bowtie. “Are you sure?” he asked as he looked down at himself again and smoothed out the front of his shirt. “I want to look good for this.”

“Relax!” Michael came up to him and touched his bowtie. “There, now you’re good.” David once again looked down at himself. “Don’t touch! I have it straight!”

“I just want everything to go right tonight.”

“And it will!” Michael exclaimed. “Listen, buddy,” he came up to his friend and roommate, “if she cares about you even a fraction of what you say she does, she’s not going to care about if your bowtie is straight or not. She’s going to enjoy the evening no matter what. Just being with you tonight is going to be enough for her.” David sighed; he knew that Michael was right. He looked up just as there was a knock at the door. “That’s probably Nicole, my date for the evening.” He watched Michael reach for the door. “Don’t worry, as I said,” he opened the door, “everything will be fine tonight.”

“What’s his problem?” Nicole asked as she walked in. David turned about to see Nicole walk into the room. “He’s just worried about tonight.”

“Oh honey,” Nicole walked up to David and laid her hands on his shoulders, “I’ve seen you and Alyssia together. She adores you.” David looked down all while trying to not look at just how much of Nicole’s breasts were visible because of her choice of dress that left very little to the imagination.

“It’s just that I want to tell her something, something important. God,” he looked up at the ceiling, “I just hope that…”

“David?” Nicole rubbed his shoulders. “You love her. Don’t you?”

“Yes,” David looked down at the floor, “I do love her, I love her very much. She’s a beautiful and kind young woman. She’s everything that I’ve ever wanted, she’s the girl of my dreams. Sure, I’ve had to be patient with her as she learned how human relationships worked and had to wait until she was comfortable doing some things but that’s never been a problem. I’ve only been so happy to accommodate her and her needs.” He looked up at her and once again got an eyeful of her sizable breasts that were on display due to her choice of an evening gown that didn’t at all leave much to the imagination. He figuratively had to tear his eyes away from them. “I just hope she feels the same way that I do about her.”

“Honey,” David watched her hug him while Michael appeared to not care, “take it from a woman when I say this that even though she’s an alien, there’s absolutely no doubt that she loves you very much. I’ve seen you and Alyssia together. You have nothing to worry about in this regard.” She stood back from him. “Just tell her how you feel about her, tell her that you love her.”

“Yeah dude,” Michael extended his hand in the air at which Nicole took hold of it, “come, my dear, we better get going if we want a decent table.” He turned back to David. “We’ll try and hold you two seats but there are no guarantees.”

“I appreciate it.” He looked at Nicole. “And to you too, thank you. Thanks for the pep talk.”

“Remember what I told you, David,” she smiled, “tell her what you feel for her.” With that, the door closed behind them leaving David standing in the room. “That’s right, tell her what you feel.”

Meanwhile, Alyssia was sitting on the couch while Amanda was kneeling on the floor applying makeup to Alyssia’s face. “I have no idea why you’re fussing about this kind of stuff,” Alyssia said as she had to choke back a fit of laughter 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 makeup, he’s often said that I look beautiful without it.”

“Yeah,” Amanda continued her work on Alyssia, “but if he thinks you’re beautiful without makeup, he’s going to think you’re stunning with it. Trust me.” Alyssia moved slightly. “Would you hold still already?” Amanda asked as she stood up from the floor. “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 and darker. “Now hold your lips still, don’t talk. I’ll tell you when you can talk.” Amanda brought the lipstick to Alyssia’s lips and slowly applied the lipstick to her lips. “Open your lips up 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. 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 about all of this?” She stood up from the couch and looked down at herself. “Is he going to like how I look tonight?”

Alyssia was wearing a full-length dress that nearly touched the ground and would have if it weren’t for the high-heeled shoes that she was wearing. The dress had a slit on both sides 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 showed off much of her ample sized breasts.

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

Amanda walked up to the door and opened it to reveal David standing behind it. “Oh wow,” she put her hands upon her hips, “you look good. Like damn,” she put her right hand to her chest, “you 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.”

“Amanda!” Alyssia protested.

Amanda 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 appearance, 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 such an elegantly beautiful gown was a different story.

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

“You think so?” she nervously asked without looking up.

“Oh yes,” he whispered, “You most definitely do. You look stunning and I’m honored to be in the presence of such a beautiful woman 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 where I know we’ll have a great time 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.”

“Do you want us to bring something back for you?”

“Nah,” Amanda showed her datapad to her. “I have a pizza on order, I’ll be fine.” Alyssia closed her eyes, she felt bad for her friend and dorm mate. “But thanks for asking, I appreciate it.”

As they walked out of her room, David brought her close as they walked along. “Did no one ask your dorm mate Amanda to go with them tonight?” She shook her head. “That’s a shame.”

“Yeah,” she sighed, “that it is. She shouldn’t be alone on a night like this, especially with how nearly the whole campus is going to this event tonight.”

“I know.” David thought back to when he had to slip out of the event two years ago. “I know how she feels right now.” Alyssia looked at him wondering why and how he knew that. “It sucks. It sucks knowing that you’re alone, eating alone, and most likely drinking alone all while your friends are off having fun with their significant other. Believe me, it sucks.”

“How would you know that?” She asked. “I didn’t go to last year’s party. Then again, I didn’t know the significance of going to the party until I met you, so I guess it didn’t bother me.”

“I’d,” David closed his eyes and sighed heavily at which she turned to him, “rather not say what happened to me.” He whispered. “Suffice it to say, I know exactly what she feels like right now. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and burned it.” She chuckled. “I’m just happy that this time I can go to this party with someone that I care about,” he looked at her and brought her close at which she smiled, “and not only that but someone that I know cares about me the same way.”

“Yeah,” she laid her head on his shoulder.

It was then that she understood what David had said about knowing how she would know if she loved David, there was no question about it for her at that very moment. She loved him, yet at the same time she was afraid to tell him; afraid that by telling him she would chase him away and that was the last thing that she wanted to do. Little did she know that David too was wrestling with the same kinds of thoughts, thoughts about how he knew that he loved her but like Alyssia, he too was afraid of telling her in fear of chasing her away.

“I,” she caught the word ‘love’ in her throat, “I understand. I’m happy that we’re going tonight.”

“Me too honey,” caressed her left arm, “me too.”

Soon the two of them approached the line where the others that were waiting to get into the event were standing in line. Alyssia 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 jealousy that she felt when she had seen David tutoring Erin came back to her as she looked at how many of them looked beautiful yet as she looked at David, he had his eyes on her and only her.

It was then, almost as if he knew that some of her insecurities were coming to the surface, that he came up behind her and put his arms around her waist and brought her close. “Alyssia? Don’t you worry.” He rested his chin on her shoulder. “I’m here with you, you’re the most important person to me tonight.” She nodded. “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 was letting people in, he scanned it upon which it beeped showing that they were allowed to go in.

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 upon her shoulders and looked down at her, “I brought my Alyssia with me tonight.” Just then David saw Michael wave to him.

“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 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 sounds like it’s going to be one hell of a show tonight. Isn’t that right honey?”

Later that night, the two of them danced in each other’s arms, and David once again thought about how he loved her. He knew that as he held her in his arms that there was no shred of 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 for the rest of their lives came flooding into his mind, but he knew that first things were first; he had to finally tell her what he felt for her.

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

“Nothing,” he simply 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 she knew that he would tell her when he was ready to do so.

As the set of songs 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. “I need to tell you something important.” He once again paused while she heard his heart pounding in his chest. “I love you. I love you, Alyssia.” She gasped as she heard those words after 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 all my life.”

“Oh David,” she whispered, “I love you too.” She once again took hold of him. “I love you too,” she whispered. “I love you so very much.”

Meanwhile, across the room, a Zaltaen was watching the two of them. “I found her; I found your sister Alyssia.” A few seconds later Alyssia’s sister texted back that she didn’t believe it. “No, I’m not kidding here. She’s dancing with a human guy.” She then discreetly snapped a picture of them and sent it back to Alydia, the one she was talking and chatting with on Zalta.

Meanwhile, on Zalta, Alydia, Alyssia’s sister gasped as she saw her sister for the first time in more than two years. “I found her!” Alydia screamed.

“Found who!” Someone burst into the room. “Who did you find?”

“My sister!” Alydia showed the picture to the Matriarch. “I found my sister!”

“Hmm,” the Matriarch hummed, “and it looks like she’s quite happy.” She studied the picture closely. “What is she doing?” Ayenda pointed at the datapad.

“I believe that she’s what humans call… dancing.”

“I see.” Ayenda, the newly elected Matriarch of the House of Nightshadow handed the datapad back to Alydia. “Find out more about what’s going on, use your contacts on Terra to find out more about what Alyssia is doing and who this human she’s dancing with is. And most of all, find out a way to get in contact with her; I want to speak to her and try and make things right between us.”

Alydia looked at her datapad and told her informant that she needed a way to get in contact with Alyssia.

As the two of them were walking down the hallway to Alyssia’s dorm, Alyssia turned to David. “You know,” she put her arm around him, “I finally understand.”

“Understand what?” David smiled; he had a feeling where she was going with her statement.

“I remember you telling me when I asked you a few months back how I would know if I loved you.” She put her hand to her bare chest. “I understand now.” She bit her lower lip. “Great Maker, I understand now.” She reached up and wiped her eyes. She had long ago dropped her finely honed Zaltaen emotional controls and defenses and become more than comfortable with showing her true emotions to David. “I know how it feels like… to love someone; I know tighty you and most of all I know how it feels to be loved.”

“See?” He stopped walking and stood before her. “I told you that you’d know it,” he put a hand to her bare chest, “right here.” She took hold of his hands that were on his chest and held them. “It’s something that you can’t describe until you feel it. That’s why I want to do this.” She was about to ask him what he wanted to do when she saw him come close and their lips touched for the first time. Sure, they had shared many kisses before, but they were always on the cheek, never on the lips.

Alyssia closed her eyes as she felt her lips touch his. It was a strange feeling for her at first, she had never felt anything like that in her whole life but as the kiss continued, it felt so right. She reached up, put her arms around him, and cupped the back of his head in the palm of her hand. She moaned as the kiss continued and as the kiss intensified, she pushed him against the wall much to his surprise and deepened the kiss.

“David,” she said as the kiss broke but the break didn’t last long, their lips met again as she continued the kiss and pressed herself against him and felt how his body was reacting to how they were so intimately close. As the kiss finally broke, they looked into each other’s eyes as they stood close to each other with the tips of their noses touching.

“I can see that you enjoyed that.”

“Yeah,” she smiled as she closed in for another kiss, this time it wasn’t quite so intense, but it was enjoyable, nonetheless. “Yes; yes, I did enjoy it. Great Maker, I enjoyed it very much.”

“I have to ask,” David licked his lips, “when did you know? When did you feel it?” He touched her bare chest again. “When did you feel it right here?”

Alyssia thought back to when they had gone out for pizza the week before. “Do you remember when we went out for pizza last weekend? How the two of us were just sitting there talking after we had finished eating and otherwise enjoying each other’s company long into the evening?” David closed his eyes; he remembered that moment very well. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. “That’s when I knew; that’s when I knew I loved you; that I couldn’t be without you in my life.” He took her into his arms and smiled as he simply held her. “Me too,” caressed her bare back, “I knew it too.”

“Why didn’t you tell me then?” she asked as several people walked by and began whispering about them.

“I didn’t want to,” he looked down at the floor, “scare you away.” He looked back up at her. “I need you Alyssia, I need you in my life; as I said before, you’re the girl of my dreams.” She closed her eyes as she heard those words again, never did she think that she’d hear those words, from a human or otherwise. “I couldn’t take the risk of telling you back then. But as we were dancing tonight, I knew that I had to tell you. I knew that I had to tell you that I loved you.”

“What changed?”

“Honestly,” he shrugged, “nothing.” He paused. “I just hoped for the best.” He mirthlessly laughed.

“Well,” she closed in for another kiss, “I’m happy you told me because… I love you, David.”

“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 love.” 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 upon 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 and 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 while she thumbed in the direction of the hallway after which she closed the door behind her, “saw David and I kissing in the hallway.” She watched Amanda’s eyebrow raise at the thought that the two of them had kissed in such a public place. She always figured that Alyssia wasn’t ready for such things yet, but perhaps things had changed between the two of them that evening.

“Oh really,” Amanda said as she ate her pizza. “Then I take it that the dance went well for the two of you.”

“Well?” Alyssia sat down on the couch. “It went better than well!” she exclaimed as she looked up at Amanda who was looking down at her with a piece of her pizza in her hands. “It went great! Great Maker, it was,” she closed her eyes, “wonderful.” She looked up at the ceiling as tears slipped down her cheeks. “You want to know what he told me?” Amanda sat down beside her. “David told me he loved me.” She brought her gaze back down to where Amanda was sitting beside her. “He told me right there on the dance floor that he loved me.”

“Oh my God.” Amanda put her right hand to her mouth. “He told you he loved you?”

Yeah!” Alyssia smiled and closed her eyes as more tears fell on her face. “David told me right there on that dance floor that he loved me. Me!” She pointed at herself with her thumb. “David told me that he loved me.” she once again exclaimed. “Great Maker! He loves me! Me… an alien, a girl from another world!”

“Then am I to assume you told him that you loved him too, right?” Amanda asked as she hoped to God that Alyssia had the good sense to tell him too. “Please tell me that you told him that you loved him too.”

“Of course, I did!” she exclaimed as she wiped her eyes. “Of course, I told him that I loved him.” She yawned. “I love David, he’s my,” she shook her head, “my everything. He opened his heart to me, an alien from another world.” Amanda watched as more tears fell down her face. “Amanda, I love him so much. He’s made me so… so incredibly happy. Happier than I’ve ever thought possible.”

“I’d hug you right now if my hands weren’t greasy from my pizza.” Alyssia began to laugh. “Of all the people who I’ve ever known, you’re the one that most deserves some happiness in her life. You’ve been through so… so much. I have no idea how you’ve been able to carry such a burden all this time.”

“I know,” Alyssia looked down at her lap, “I appreciate it, Amanda.” She looked up at Amanda. “I do. You’ve been a great help to me these past few years and I thank The Great Maker every day for putting you in my life as you have been. You’ve been a great friend Amanda, more than I ever imagined. You’ve been there for me ever since I came here to this world, this university,” she looked about the room. “You opened your heart to me and helped me in so many ways. I don’t know how I could ever hope to thank you for all that you’ve done for me.”

“Aww,” Amanda took hold of Alyssia’s hand while being careful not to touch her dress. “It’s been an absolute honor being your friend and showing you all that humanity had to offer you. And you know what Alyssia?” Alyssia shook her head. “You’ve been a great friend to me too. That’s how you’ve repaid me.” She let go of her hand as Alyssia yawned again.

“I’m going to,” Alyssia stood up, “go to bed. It’s been a long day.”

“Good night, Alyssia.”

Meanwhile, in David’s room, he 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 know if they would for the video call connected and he saw his mom on the other end of the call.

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

“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.” He again 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 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 again. “Are you even sure she can love you as 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 like you love her in return.”

“Mom.” He looked down and without looking up, he began again. “I’ve 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 told me that she loved me too.”

“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 as 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 to 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 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 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 judgment of her until I meet her.” She kissed the tips of her finger and put them on the screen. “I promise.”

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

Meanwhile, on Mars, Amy, 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.

“Amy,” Steven turned to her as she laid against him, “what’s going on? 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 aren’t that different from us.”

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

“Yes,” Amy 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 squeezed it, “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 nearly 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 as 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 Katie looks to you,” she looked back up, “she always has.” He agreed with her. “Anyways, he asked me to promise him to hold my judgment 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 judgment 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 in our son. Right?” She nodded. “So anyway,” he kissed her cheek at which she smiled, “go get ready for bed, I’ll be right after you.”

Amy 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. Amy, on the other hand, whispered in hopes that David knew what he was doing, and that Alyssia wouldn’t break his heart.

Meanwhile, on Zalta, Alydia was browsing a blog site on the Galactic Internet that the Zaltaens had recently been connected to that one of her contacts at the University of Berlin had given her, a site written by a human girl named Irida Geroti. While reading it she could never understand why humans had such an incessant need to talk about and gossip about others but lately, that gossip had been a major source of intelligence for her sister.

Suddenly she received a toast notification in her computer’s taskbar showing that the site had been updated and that a new blog post had been made. She pressed the F5 key on her computer’s keyboard and sure enough, there was a new blog post, and the subject of the blog post was none other than her sister, Alyssia.

She began to read the post and gasped as she came to a point in the blog post where Irida had mentioned that she had seen Alyssia and the guy who she had been told she had been dancing with was named David and not only that but that they had shared what humans called a kiss and that they had just told each other that they loved each other.

“Ayenda!” Alydia shouted. “Come here quick!” Ayenda ran into the room where Alydia was staring at a screen.”

“What’s wrong?” Ayenda asked as she poked her head into the room.

“I have some news from a gossip blog from someone at the university that Alyssia is attending on Terra.” She pointed at the screen. “Now I don’t know how much I should believe but the guy she’s dating is named David.”

“Dating?” Ayenda asked. “What’s that?”

“According to my research, dating is something that humans do to find out if two people are compatible with each other which; if they are, it leads to a long-term relationship and ultimately something called marriage.”

“I see,” Ayenda rubbed her chin. “Then they don’t have anything like we do where their respective Houses decide who someone will be with.”

“No,” Alydia shook her head, “humans don’t have a House system as we do. Humans are free to choose who they want to be with and apparently, this David has taken a liking to my sister, Alyssia. So much so that apparently according to this blog,” she pointed at the screen, “David told Alyssia that he loves her. And not only that but they also shared something called a kiss.”

“Hmm,” Ayenda hummed. “What is a kiss?”

“From my research into human dating rituals, a kiss is a form of affection that two people that are in a relationship share. A kiss is when two people touch lips.” Alydia pointed to her lips. “The acting of kissing someone usually elicits intense emotions and can even lead to sexual arousal among humans.” Ayenda gasped as Alydia uttered the word ‘sexual arousal’.

“Oh,” the look on her face said it all, she was shocked for she knew nothing about humans or their mating rituals. After recovering from her shock, she asked. “And what is this… love?”

“That,” Alydia shook her head, “is hard to explain. It’s an emotional kind of thing between two people.” Ayenda’s eyebrow raised. “In the case of David and Alyssia; David loves her, and she loves David. And not only that but from how David and Alyssia were dancing together, it appears that Alyssia is quite happy living on Terra and being with David. She’s nothing like how she was when she had been cast out of the House years ago. I can tell, she seems incredibly happy.”

“But why would she choose to be with a human? There’s got to be other Zaltaens on Terra. Right?”

Alydia shrugged. “I can’t answer that. All I know is that she seems quite happy being with David and to be honest, after what happened to her and how she was cast out of our House,” Ayenda nodded for she knew where Alydia was going with her line of thinking, “I can’t help but to be happy for her.”

“Uh-huh,” Ayenda hummed, “keep researching her; if anything changes, I want to know.” With that Ayenda walked out of the room leaving Alydia looking at the screen.

“Please don’t do anything that could threaten her happiness.”

Ayenda poked her head back into the room. “I would never dream of doing that.”

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 went ahead 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 room that he shared with Michael. “How’d you get in here?” he asked as he stood before her and held his hand out to her to help her stand up, however she didn’t take hold of it.

“Michael let me in,” she looked towards the door. “He’s out with his girlfriend. Anyway,” she patted the couch cushion next to her, “please sit down. There’s something I need to tell you.”

“Ok,” he sat down next to her, “what’s wrong? Alyssia,” he caressed her thigh, “tell me. What’s wrong honey? You can tell me.”

“I want to tell you something that you should know about me.” The look on her face gave him an idea of where the conversation was going. “As you already know, I was cast out of my House.” He nodded for he already knew that much about her. “However, you don’t know why, and I think that if we’re going to be in the kind of relationship that we have together, the kind where we love each other, you should know about what led me to be cast out of my House.” She held her head low. “As you are already well aware, for the longest time, many of… my people had been hiding among your people in plain sight under disguise.”

“Yeah,” he nodded, “I know all about that. It’s why many of my people… have a problem with… your people. But you’ve got to know that I don’t care about that. Right?” She nodded. “I’m sure you had nothing to do with how your people did that to us.”

“Yes, you’re right… I didn’t. In fact,” she looked up, “I took part in a rather large protest with thousands of others who thought like me that we were wrong in lying to humanity about how they were alone in the galaxy. The point of the protest was to pressure the Zaltaen government to end the charade and finally come clean to all of humanity.” She sighed as she closed her eyes. “Somehow, the matriarch of my House found out about what I had participated in, and she saw fit to cast me out of the House of Nightshadow.”

“But why?” David asked. “Why cast you out?”

“Because David,” she said without looking up, “you have to understand that the House of Nightshadow isn’t just some ordinary House; it’s one of the six most politically powerful Houses on Zalta. They along with five other Houses hold the majority of the political power on Zalta. For instance, the House of Nightshadow has several members that have a seat in the House of Lords and the Royal Court.”

“Oh my God,” David whispered. “The matriarch saw what you did as a threat to their political power.”

“Uh-huh,” she hummed. “You see, for a House as powerful as the House of Nightshadow, what I did could’ve very well damaged the political standing of the House and for a House as powerful as the House of Nightshadow, it was the duty of the matriarch to,” she closed her eyes and while she did that, David watched tears formed under her eyes, “save face and do away with the problem.” Her voice dropped to that of a whisper. “The problem, being me.”

She opened her eyes as she looked at David. “Do you have any idea how it felt to have everyone turn their backs on me?” He watched tears stream down her beautiful face as she blinked her eyes. “Do you have any idea how it felt to have everyone that I knew, family and friends alike, figuratively and literally, turn their backs on me as I stood before my matriarch as she subsequently stripped me of all my rights and privileges and eventually led out of the Great Hall of my House without even so much as an ounce of care?

“I spent the next four years after being cast out of my House on Zalta scrounging up as much money as I could, sometimes begging for money on the very streets of the capital city to be able to eat and eventually purchase a shuttle ticket to come here to Terra to try and build a new life for myself. It was because of some kind people that took pity on me that I’m here at this university, they helped me enroll here. That was two years ago. You should’ve seen me when I first arrived here on Terra, I was severely malnourished; I was skin and bones. It took me nearly a year after arriving here on Terra to get my health back. They said that if I had been on Zalta even one more year, I’d have died.”

“Oh my God,” David once again whispered as he reached up and wiped his own eyes; his heart broke for her that such a thing happened to her. “I can’t even imagine the pain of having that happen to you.”

“No,” she shook her head. “No, you can’t. And to, as humans say, add insult to injury, I was also stripped of all of my rights to ever set foot in Zaltaen space ever again.” He could hear her voice crack with every word she said. “My Zaltaen identification card and my photo have been flagged in the system to prevent me from ever returning home to my world. And now that I’m here on Terra, all that I have in my life are my friends and coworkers at the coffee shop and then of course,” she took hold of his hand, “the most important person of all in my life… you.”

“Oh, Alyssia.” He held out his arms as she threw herself at him knocking him back. “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” All he could do was hold the woman that he loved while he caressed her back while she bitterly sobbed against his shoulder. “Shh,” he cupped the back of her head in the palm of his hand, “I love you and I’m here for you. Everything will be alright. I’m here for you.” In reality, he had no idea what to do; he had never been in a situation in which he had to console someone who had lost so much in their life. All he could do was hold her and say things like what he had said in hopes that maybe, just maybe, it would make her feel better about how much she had lost in her life. He had to admit that he didn’t know how it would.

She continued to bitterly sob into his shoulder for what seemed like forever, but he knew that she had to let go of the pain that she had bottled up for so long and he was only so happy to be there for her. But soon her sobbing stopped, she picked her head up from his shoulder and looked into his eyes while he stared back at her. “Are you ok?” He tried to smile but a smile just wouldn’t come.

“No,” she shook her head, “but I will be.” She smiled. “Thanks to you.” She laid her head down on his shoulder. “I love you, David.”

“I love you too,” he said as he held the woman he loved in his arms. “I’m so… so incredibly sorry that all of that happened to you. You didn’t deserve to have any of that happen to you.”

“I know you are,” she picked her head up off his shoulder and looked him in his eyes and kissed him. “I’m so happy I found you.” She sniffled and laid her head back down on his shoulder. “I’m happy I found you.” He caressed her back. “Me too Alyssia,” he looked up at the ceiling and blinked some of his own tears away, “me too. I’ll always be there for you. You know that, right?” He felt her nod against his shoulder.

Several moments later she sat up and took hold of his hands. “Thank you so much for being there for me, I had to get a lot of this out. I was bottling it up for far longer than I should have. I appreciate you being there for me more than you’ll ever know.”

“Hey,” he squeezed her hands, “don’t mention it. What are boyfriends for?” He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “But why don’t you go use my bathroom and get cleaned up and we can go get some breakfast. How does that sound?” She nodded and stood up from the couch and looked down at him. “Sounds great,” she smiled. He watched her walk into his bedroom and a few minutes later she walked back out after using his sink to clean up her face.

“Come David.” She held her hand out to him at which he took hold of her only to have her wrap her arms around him as she pulled him up from the couch. “Let’s go get some breakfast.” She came around to his side and began to walk beside her and as they walked out of his dorm room, he put a hand on her shapely backside while she smirked but said nothing. “I do have to ask,” he continued to caress her backside, “do you have any siblings? A sister or a brother perhaps?”

“I do have a sister, but I’ve not heard from her ever since I was cast out of my House and the bitch of it all is, she’s not made even a single attempt to contact me while I’ve been here on Terra and away from my people.” She watched David frown. “I know,” she shook her head, “even an email asking me if I was alive and well would be enough. But she’s not even done that.” She turned to him. “Do you have any siblings?”

“Yeah,” he turned to her as he reached for the elevator button, “I have a sister, her name’s Katherine however,” they walked into the elevator, “I call her Katie for short.” As the door closed, she pressed the G button for the underground garage. “She lives with her husband, Nathan, and her daughter, Heather in Alpha Centauri. As you can probably imagine, between my schoolwork, tutoring on the weekends, and of course,” he put his arm around her waist and brought her close, “going out on dates with you, and with her working her job, I don’t get to talk to her as much as I’d like to. But hey,” he shrugged, “that’s life.”

“How old is sister’s daughter, Heather?”

“She’s only about four Terran standard years old.”

“Can I see a picture of Heather?”

“Yeah sure.” David dug into his pocket and pulled out his datapad as they walked out of the elevator and into the labyrinth of the underground parking garage. “Here,” he handed the datapad to Alyssia at which she took hold of it and looked at the picture of both Katie and Heather. “There they are. My sister and my niece.” Alyssia looked at the picture and zoomed in on Heather who Katie was holding in her arms. “Oh wow,” she put her hand to her mouth, “she’s so cute.”

“Yeah,” David took hold of the datapad from her, “that she is. I just wish I could see them more often but as I said, that’s life.”

“Yeah,” she looked down at the ground as they were walking along to his car, “but at least you have a sister that’s chosen to stay in your life. I,” she shook her head, “don’t. I wish that she’d reach out to me.”

As they came to his car, he pressed a button on his datapad to unlock the car door and opened the car door for her to climb inside after which he closed the door and walked around to the right side of the car to climb into the driver’s seat.

“Speaking about family,” he pressed a button on his datapad, and the dashboard lit up, “when the semester is over, I want to take you home with me to Mars to meet my parents.” He watched her eyebrow raise; he could tell that she didn’t expect that. “I told my mom all about you last night after the dance.” She was about to ask if he had told his mom about what she was. “And before you ask, yes… I told her that you are a Zaltaen. I even sent her the photo of us holding each other last night at the dance.

“My mom, of course, had some reservations about…” Alyssia spoke up. “You can tell me; she had reservations about me being what I am.”

“Yeah,” he sighed as he looked down at his lap. “But I asked her, no… pleaded,” he glanced up and raised his hand and shook an open hand in the air, “with her to promise me to withhold any reservations about you being what you are until she meets you. I told her that once she meets you and talks to you and gets to know you like I,” he took hold of her hand that was resting on her nylon-covered thigh, “know you, she’ll understand why I love you the way that I do.”

“But why?” She looked down at his hand that was holding hers. “Why do this all of this for me? Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful, I’m very grateful for everything that you’ve done for me and how you’ve welcomed an alien,” she watched him close his eyes as she uttered the word ‘alien’, “like me into your heart.”

“It’s because I love you,” he looked at her hand, “and I care about you. This is what love is all about. And besides, I don’t want you to have to stay in a cheap dingy motel while I’m gone for three months having fun with my family on Mars probably crying your eyes out into a questionably clean pillow.”

She chuckled about him saying a ‘questionably clean pillow’. “You know,” she whispered, “I said it before and I’ll say it again,” she looked down at his hand that was resting on her thigh, “I’m so incredibly happy to have met you, David. After I lost everything back on Zalta, I never thought I’d have a chance at being happy again in my life.”

She was careful not to say that Zalta was her world anymore for ever since coming to Terra, she had come to see Terra as her new adoptive home and David was a big reason for that happening in her life.

David, meanwhile, squeezed her hand. “Me too my love,” she reached up and wiped a tear from her eyes, “me too.” As they came to another stoplight, David thought about something. “You know, how about we make it a day of this?” She looked to him and hummed in question as to what he meant by that. “You know, we just go out and spend the day together. Just the two of us. If there’s anything you want to do, we’ll do it… together.”

“But what about your tutoring?” Just then his datapad dinged at which he looked at his chronometer and read a message on it. “About that,” he looked up from his chronometer, “Erin canceled, she rescheduled her tutoring session for tomorrow so now, you have me all to yourself.”

Alyssia thought about how he was putting her first and if she was being honest, she liked that idea especially since nobody had done that for her. Back when she was on Zalta it was always a responsibility to her family, a responsibility to her House, and a responsibility to Zalta; never did she have time for herself, and nobody ever did anything for her.

“Alright,” she turned to him, reached up, and touched his shoulder, “that sounds great. I’d love to spend the day with you.”

“But first,” he began to drive again, “we’ll get breakfast because that was the initial plan but after that, it’s all up to you. Anything you want to do, we’ll do it.”

“Ok,” she thought, “can we go see a movie together?”

“Of course, we can!” he exclaimed as he pulled into the parking lot of the diner where they were going to have breakfast. “I was going to ask you if you wanted to go see a movie.” As he pulled into a parking spot, he looked at her. “I’m glad you like that idea.”

“Would you mind if I did some shopping afterward? There’s a sale at Forever 21.” Meanwhile, David rolled his eyes. “What?”

“Don’t you have enough clothing already?”

“As Amanda once told me, a girl can never have enough clothing.” David meanwhile laughed as he once again rolled his eyes.

Later that evening at around 2100 hours29 PM., they came back to David’s dorm room with many, many bags filled with various all kinds of clothing be it everything from new sweaters to shirts, to shoes, and everything in between that she had bought while dragging David along much to his irritation.

“Aren’t you going to take your things back to your dorm?” he asked as he waved his CAC near the card reader to unlock his door.

“Nah,” she followed him into his dorm, “I can take my things there later. Besides, don’t you not want the evening to end?” she asked as she dropped the bags on the floor and came up to him and put her hands around her neck and brought him close. “Because I know I don’t want it to end,” she kissed him, “quite yet.” The kind of smile that she had on her face was he couldn’t resist.

“No,” he put his hands upon her hips, “I don’t want it to end either.”

“Good,” she smiled as she took hold of his hand that was still holding his CAC and waved it in front of the card reader at the door that she knew led to his bedroom. “Maybe we can watch a vid show tonight. Doesn’t that sound good?” All he could do was nod. “Good.” She picked up her bags and followed him into his bedroom and after putting her bags down on the floor again, she laid down on his bed and patted the bed. “Come here David,” she patted the bed again, “come lay down next to me.” He did as he was told and laid down on the bed next to him at which she turned onto her side and snuggled up close to him as she draped a leg across his and interlocked her leg with his and the two of them began to watch a vid show that evening.

Alyssia was lying next to David on his bed watching a vid with him late into the night and as the vid ended, David yawned. “Well Alyssia,” he hugged her, “it’s getting late. Maybe you should think about going back to your place and getting some sleep.” He watched her yawn. “It looks like you need some sleep too.”

“Yeah,” she yawned again, “I didn’t get much sleep at all last night, between work and my big test that I had this morning in AI3Artificial Intelligence. 202, I didn’t get much sleep last night. Thank the Great Maker for the weekend!” She pumped her fists in the air. “And I aced it!”

“That’s great!” he exclaimed.

“Yep,” she yawned.

“Then you better get some sleep,” he too yawned, “I want to take you out for breakfast before my tutoring sessions start at 1000 hours410 AM. tomorrow morning.” She, however, didn’t say anything. “What’s wrong my love?”

“David? I was thinking.” He laid back down next to her. “What would you think if I stayed the night with you?” She heard him gulp.

“As in,” he gulped again, “here in my bed?”

“Uh-huh,” she hummed, “that’s the idea.” She sat up and propped herself up on her arms behind her. “I’ve done some thinking about our relationship lately.” David sat himself up with his arms behind him similar to how she had. “I’ve been thinking lately that I want more from our relationship.” He looked back at her wondering what she meant. “And I know you’ve wanted more from our relationship as well.” She looked him straight in the eye. “And don’t lie to me about that, I know you have.”

“Well.” She looked at him again to tell him that she already knew. “Yes, I have been wanting more.” He watched her move to lay on her side. “But you know that…” She put a finger to his lips. “And I’m grateful to you for being so patient with me while I learned about how human relationships worked but now, I want to start exploring some aspects of human sexuality and intimacy.”

“I see,” he said as he laid back down on his side facing her, “what do you have in mind?” He dared not assume anything with her at that point.

“As I said, I want to stay the night with you.” She took hold of his hand. “What do you think? Do you want to do that?” She paused to gauge his reaction. “I mean, we told each other that we loved each other a day ago. Right? Doesn’t that mean something?”

“Yes Alyssia, we did and yes, it does mean something; it means a lot to me that you have the same feelings that I have for you. So yes,” he smiled as he took hold of her, “you can stay the night and not only that, but you can stay the night here with me whenever you’d like. Just say the word and… you can stay anytime you’d like.”

“Great!” She exclaimed as she excitedly grabbed hold of him and hugged him.

“Alyssia,” He winced but said nothing to her so as to not needlessly worry her but somehow, she still knew that she had done something wrong.

“Damn it,” she cursed as she let go of him. “I’m sorry,” she reached for his shoulders and carefully rubbed the sides of his arms, “times like this I forget just how strong I am when compared to human men.” David crossed his arms in front of him and touched her hands. “Don’t worry about it, I’m fine.” She tried to smile. “Really!” He exclaimed. “I am.” He raised his arms in the air. “Just be more careful next time. I know you’re excited, but please do remember that humans aren’t built like Zaltaens are.”

“I know,” she carefully hugged him, “I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”

“I know honey,” he nodded against her shoulder, “you just have to be more careful. That’s all.” He could feel her hugging him again. “Just be more careful honey.” He could hear her sniffle. “Oh no,” he let go of her and sat back from her, “don’t cry. I’ll be fine.”

“But what about the next time?” She asked while starting to question the wisdom of being in a relationship with him, someone whom she could hurt so easily. She knew that she couldn’t live with herself if she had seriously hurt him in any way.

“Oh honey,” he hugged her again, “you just have to be more careful. That’s all. I still love you and nothing’s going to change that.”

She nodded against his shoulder. “Do you still want me to stay the night with you?”

“Of course, I do.” He took her into his arms again and kissed her forehead which put her at ease. “All I ask is that you be more careful the next time you hug me like that. Don’t let your excitement go to your head. That’s all.” She hugged him carefully once again. “Why don’t you go back to your place and get some things and come back?” She let go of him, got up from the bed, and looked down at him. “Go.” He could see the look of hesitation on her face. “Go get your things and come back,” he smiled to try and reassure her, “I want you here with me tonight.”

She started for the door when David called out to her. “You might want this.” He waved his CAC in the air. She looked back at him as he continued to wave his CAC in the air. “Oh yeah, silly me.” She nervously laughed. “I might need that if I want to come back to your room.”

“Especially since while you’re gone, I’m going to be in the shower.”

“Yeah,” she walked back up to him and took hold of his CAC. “I’ll,” she leaned over and kissed him, “be back soon. Again, I’m sorry.” With that, she walked out of his bedroom to go back to her dorm leaving David stunned that she would want to spend the night with him. “Well then, I didn’t expect that to happen.” He then winced as he shrugged his shoulders. “Alright nanomachines, get to work you, little buggers.” He picked up his datapad from his nightstand and opened the control app and sure enough, the app showed that the nanomachines were already hard at work repairing the soft tissue damage that she had inflicted on him. He moved his arm and sure enough, there was not nearly as much pain in his shoulder joint as there was just moments ago.

He then began to get undressed and take his shower.

After taking his shower he put on a pair of boxer shorts and walked out of his bathroom to see Alyssia laying down on his bed just as she was before. He came over to the bed and sat down on the side of the bed and looked over at her over his shoulder. “See?” He moved his arms. “I’m fine, my shoulder’s fine. The nanomachines have already done their work.”

“I know,” she sat up next to him, “I’m just sorry I hurt you like I did. I’m going to,” she looked down at her lap, “I’m going to try not to get so excited next time. I’m going to try harder to keep my emotions in check, I’ve lately had my emotional walls down; I’ll work to build them back up again.”

“Hey,” he put an arm around her and kissed her cheek, “I don’t want that either. I want you to be you; emotions and all.” He kissed her cheek again. “I love all of you, even your excitement for what we have together.” She looked down at his hands and took hold of them. “In the meantime, why don’t you get undressed and take your shower so we can go to bed.” He got up from the bed. “But while you do so, I’ll step out of the room to give you some privacy.”

“Why is that?” She asked as she looked up at him standing over him.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged, “I just assumed that you’d want me to step out of the room to let you have some privacy while you get undressed. It’s usually what most women want. Besides, I know about how Zaltaens generally think when it comes to things like nudity.” He watched her sigh. “What’s wrong?”

“I want you to stay.”

“You want me to stay?” He was shocked by that revelation, he never imagined that she’d want him to stay while she was getting undressed. “You mean to tell me that you want me to stay while you get undressed? You know that means I’m going to see you naked.” She nodded. “You know that right?”

“Yes, and honestly,” she began, “it’s one of the things I knew was going to happen as a result of me staying the night with you, this too I gave a lot of thought about. That’s why I’ve not asked you to leave the room while I get undressed.”

“Alright,” he sat down on the bed and nervously watched as she crossed her arms in front of her, took a hold of the bottom of her t-shirt, and took it off but she didn’t stop there. She reached around to her back to undo the clasps of her bra, reached up and slipped the straps off her shoulders, and let her bra fall into her lap. There she was, sitting beside him completely naked from the waist up yet she showed no sense of being nervous about being so. Hell, if there was anyone who was nervous, it was him.

“Why are you so nervous?” she asked as she watched him continue looking down at his lap.

“Please don’t laugh at me but I’ve never seen a naked woman before,” he looked up at her and as he had done so, his eyes came to where her breasts were, and had to figuratively tear his eyes away from them. “At least not up close and personal like I am right now. You’re the first woman I’ve seen this way personally.”

“Oh,” she blushed, “I see.” She paused for a moment. “I’d never laugh at you.”

“Yeah,” he gulped, “but I know a lot of people who would laugh at me for that.”

“But I’m not one of them,” she stood up from the bed and turned around, “I’d never laugh at you. Remember, I’m still new to all of this too you know. I’m going to continue getting undressed and take my shower.” He nervously nodded as he continued to watch her get undressed with a sense of rapt attention. First, she took her athletic shoes off and stood up from the bed and unbuttoned her jean shorts and let them fall to the floor leaving her standing before him wearing nothing but her panties and the pair of black tights that she was wearing with her jean shorts.

As she continued to get undressed, she saw how a certain part of his anatomy was reacting to how she was getting undressed before him, however she said nothing for she didn’t want to make him any more nervous than he already was.

She bent down and picked her tights and bag up off the floor and began for the bathroom. As he heard her turn the water on, he shook his head. “Damn,” he whispered, “if someone had told me that I was going to see a naked Zaltaen woman today, I would’ve told them they were nuts.” Meanwhile, Alyssia heard him say that from inside the shower and laughed. “I can’t believe she heard that.” He too laughed.

Minutes later Alyssia stepped out of the bathroom and knelt to where her clothing was near the bathroom door and pulled on what looked like a very long shirt that went all the way down to her knees. As she came walking over to the bed, he pulled back the covers and allowed her to climb into the bed with him after which she pulled the covers over herself.

David moved onto his side so that he was facing her. “Alyssia?” he asked. “I know all about Zaltaen customs since as you already know, I’m in the Xenobiology program and part of that program is learning about Zaltaen society. But there’s one question that has always nagged me ever since I learned about your people.” She moved to lay on her side much like he was so that she could look at him. “And what’s that?” She asked.

“Considering all of the social taboos that your people generally have, how do people even mate in your society? I mean,” he chuckled, “Zaltaen men aren’t even allowed to see a naked Zaltaen woman. And then there are the Zaltaen robes that are often joked about in my classes. The running joke is that they make it very hard to tell a man from a woman, so much so that you wouldn’t even know if you were looking at a man or a woman until you heard the voice of the person.”

She began to laugh. “Well, that’s true.” She laughed again. “All of it is true. Especially the robes!” She exclaimed. “They do a good job of covering everything up and concealing one’s gender when looking at someone. Speaking of which, you should’ve seen how I reacted when I first came here to Terra and saw human women wearing stuff that showed off,” she blushed, “everything.

“It was like every line, every curve, was on display for everyone to see. I swear to the Great Maker that it took me the better part of a year to get over my, shall we say, issues… with wearing human clothing. Even today, I still have some hang-ups about all of it since generally Zaltaens don’t show off quite so much skin. It’s why I often wear those tights that I wear with many of my outfits; they give me a feeling of being clothed down there if you know what I mean while wearing things like skirts, dresses, and shorts like I was wearing today. Amanda thinks the same way, she’s the one that introduced them to me back when she helped me start dressing more like a human to better fit in here on campus. I hope you don’t mind if I wear them with my outfits. I know a lot of other women on campus don’t wear them, but I just don’t feel comfortable without them.”

“I get it, it’s hard to come from a society that’s rather conservative in thinking to one that,” he scoffed and shook his head, “if you ask me, takes things way too damn far.” He began to worry about how she would react next. “As for you wearing those,” she nodded for him to continue as he hesitated to say the next word, “tights, if that’s what makes you comfortable, go right ahead; I don’t mind that you wear them at all.” In truth, he liked it when she wore them, but he dared not tell her that; at least, not yet.

“I’m glad you understand,” she took hold of his hand.

“I do have one question about that.” He thought about what she had said about how wearing tights made her feel more comfortable while wearing human clothing. “Why don’t you stop?” She looked at him confused as to what he was talking about. “You know, stop wearing clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable. You can, for example, wear a longer skirt or even pants for that matter. If that’s what’ll make you feel more comfortable about yourself because of your unique cultural background, you can do so. I certainly wouldn’t mind if you wore other things if it made you more comfortable.”

True,” she paused in thought, “I have thought about that but seeing as how I look so very different from humans because of,” she reached up and pointed at her blue hair and pointed elf-like ears, “I don’t need anything else to make me… as the phrase goes,” she switched to English, “stick out like a sore thumb. But I do appreciate that you think that way.” She switched back to Zaltaen to continue the conversation with him. “I don’t need anything else in my life to draw attention to me and how different I appear, I have enough as it is. I want to fit in; I want people to like me and accept me. You can’t blame me for thinking that way. Right?”

He shook his head. “I understand more than you know. I get it.” He turned onto his back and looked up at the ceiling in thought. “You know,” she turned to him, “I was thinking about just how similar our two species are.” He turned to her. “Let’s face it, even though I don’t see you as an alien, you are one; an honest to God extraterrestrial alien woman,” he bit his lower lip and chuckled, “yet you look no different from that of a human woman.

“I remember this being covered in one of my earlier Xenobiology classes but to have seen with my own two eyes just how similar our two species are, it’s quite surprising. You’ve got all the physical features that a human woman would have; everything from breasts to wider hips to the typical feminine hourglass figure.” He watched her blush at how he was talking about how her body looked. “And then there’s how our, shall we say, parts are compatible.”

She was about to say something when he continued. “There are some ideas that are floating about the astrophysics classes that say that all sentient species in the galaxy began because comets had deposited the primordial makings for DNA throughout the cosmos. Then there’s the theological side that believes that both species, humans and Zaltaens, were created by the same God figure. Either way, I’m stunned by just how similar our anatomies are.”

“Yeah, most definitely. That’s the same thing many Zaltaens thought back when Zaltaens had first encountered humans back in the year 1930 here on Terra.”

“Wait.” His eyes shot open. “Zaltaens have been on Terra even as far back as 1930?”

“Uh-huh,” she hummed. “But anyways, do you want to know just how similar our two species’ genetics are?” He shrugged. “When Zaltaens got a sample of human DNA and took it back to Zalta for genetic testing, we found that even though we may be two completely different species, we’re more alike than you think. In fact, there’s only a point zero-zero-zero-one percent difference between the DNA of our two species.” She watched his eyes open wide at the thought that they were so very similar. “Besides our obvious outward differences like the color of our skin, hair, eyes, and of course, my pointed ears,” she reached up and touched them, “our two species share very similar genetics.”

“Um,” he gulped, “I guess the next question is… Can a Human and a Zaltaen have…” Alyssia nodded. “As you’ve already mentioned, our… parts are compatible and yes, a Human and a Zaltaen can have a child together. And based upon how a certain part of your anatomy reacted to how I was naked while sitting next to you earlier, I’m going to say that you’re,” he watched her blush yet again, “sexually attracted to me.”

“Yeah,” he bit his lower lip, “yes, I am. Please don’t be offended when I say this but yes,” there was a moment of hesitation, “I do indeed find you to be quite attractive. I’d even go so far as to say that you’re,” he closed his eyes, “quite sexy. I’ve thought that about you for some time now, but I didn’t at all think it was appropriate to tell you that until much further into our relationship.”

At first, she was rather shocked by his choice of words to describe her physical appearance, but that shock quickly faded. She had to admit that if she had heard him describe her as such back when they had first started dating, she’d have broken up with him on the spot.

It was then that she began to think about how she would’ve reacted back then and how much she would’ve missed out on. Things were different with her now. She was far more accustomed to the ways that humans often thought about things, especially sexuality and because of that, she was now far less sensitive and was more willing to embrace the sexual side of herself.

“Um… I’d,” she swallowed hard, “I’d have to admit that I also find you to be attractive in that way too. As you said about me, I also find you to be quite sexy.”

“Yes, I know that; it’s quite obvious to me that you think that way about me as well.”

“How so?” She asked. “Last time I checked, humans don’t have extrasensory abilities like some Zaltaens do.” David began to laugh. “What? Was what I said funny?”

“For one there are telltale signs, body language so to speak. For instance, when I walked into the room wearing nothing but my boxer shorts after taking my shower, your pupils dilated when you looked at me. And then there’s how you licked your lips…” She spoke up to stop him from going any further. “I get it, you’re observant.”

Damn right I am.” He laughed. “But I do have to ask now that you brought up extrasensory abilities, do you have telepathic abilities?”

“No,” she shook her head, “I wasn’t born with a gene strong enough to express itself so no,” she shook her head again, “I don’t have telepathic abilities like some Zaltaens do. However, I have to admit there are times I wish I did have such abilities but…” David spoke up. “I thought about what it would be like to have such abilities like some Zaltaens have but I concluded that sometimes ignorance is bliss.”

“I came to the same conclusion.” She yawned after which he yawned as well. “But maybe we should get to sleep, I’m tired.”

“Yeah, me too. Good night, Alyssia; sleep well.” David moved to sleep on his stomach while Alyssia cuddled up closer to him and draped an arm across his back. “I hope you don’t mind if I do this.”

“Why would I mind if you did that?” He mouthed a kiss. “You go right ahead and do that my love.” As he said that she cuddled up closer to him and happily hummed. And with that, she reached up to turn the lights off in the room and they drifted off to sleep.

The next morning David woke up and looked over at Alyssia who was staring at him. “Hey there.” He reached up with his other hand and reached up to touch her. “Good morning. Did you sleep well?” She hummed. “That’s good to hear.” She cuddled up closer to him. “Can we stay like this?” She hugged him closely for she found that she enjoyed the closeness that she was experiencing with him and from the look on his face and how his body was reacting and by the sound of his heart, she could tell that he enjoyed it as well. Simply the feeling of him being close to her excited her and she didn’t want it to end. “I don’t want to get up quite yet.”

“Sure,” he nodded, “I don’t see why not. My first tutoring session doesn’t start until 1100 hours511 AM. and it’s only… Computer?” He asked. “What time is it?”

“It’s 0800 hours68 AM..”

“Yeah, we have time.”

Alyssia happily sighed as she hugged him. “Do you mind if I stay the night again tonight?”

“Honey,” he looked to her, “of course, you can. I don’t mind at all. I enjoyed having you here with me last night. Besides, I told you that any time you want to do this again, just ask and I’d be happy to have you stay.”

“I was hoping you would say that because I was thinking.” He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. “What would you say about making this kind of arrangement permanent?”

“Permanent?” David asked. “How? What do you mean?”

“You know that there are bigger dorm rooms for people like us,” it was beginning to dawn on him as to what she was talking about, “people who are in a relationship like we are. We could live together. Would you like that? Because I know I’d like that too, I also enjoyed our time together; I liked the feeling of holding you.”

“Come here, baby.” He took hold of her and held her tightly against himself much to her delight. “I’d love that. I’d love to wake up next to you every morning… just like this.”

“I had a feeling that you would like that.” She leaned in for a kiss and as the kiss continued the intensity increased. She could feel herself melting into the kiss like she had never felt before and began to moan in pleasure as the kiss continued. She could also feel how his body was reacting to being so intimately close to her and how the kiss was intensifying. However, suddenly his eyes shot open, and the kiss abruptly ended. “Whoa!” He exclaimed. “That felt weird!”

“Weird?” She asked. “How so? Was it a good weird or a bad weird?” She began to wonder if he was having second thoughts about being with her.

“I,” he stuttered, “I don’t know. It just felt… so weird. It was like I could hear your thoughts. Everything you felt about me; every feeling, every emotion, every thought you had about me,” she blushed, “I heard it all inside my mind.” He watched her bite the tip of her tongue. “It was but for a brief second, even less than that but damn,” he closed his eyes, “it felt weird, but it also felt so amazing. Um…” he raised his head off the pillow, “do you want to see if that happens again?”

“Sure!” She leaned in for another kiss and much like the earlier kiss, as the intensity of the kiss increased, he breathed in deeply as he felt a kind of connection with her the likes of which he had never felt before but unlike before, he was ready for it and this time he thoroughly enjoyed it. He felt every emotion and thought that she had for and about him, and in those moments, he knew that she loved him in a way he never imagined feeling in his life once again.

Meanwhile, she too was feeling what he was feeling only much more intensely because of what she didn’t know was her latent telepathic gene. Like him, she too was feeling every thought and emotion that he had for her but for her, it nearly moved her to tears to finally know just how much she meant to him, how much he cared for and about her, and how much he loved her and needed her in his life.

Yes, he often said that it didn’t matter to him that she was an alien and that he didn’t see her as one but to feel inside her mind was a completely different matter. What he felt for her represented everything that she had hoped for ever since she had come to Terra and saw how humans often dated, went out with each other, and eventually fell in love.

But like all good things, the kiss ended.

“Oh David,” she whispered as she laid her head down on his chest, “I understand now.”

“Understand what?” he asked as she looked up at him.

“How much I mean to you.”

“As do I my love, as do I.” He held her in his arms. Moments later he wondered. “What do you suppose we just experienced?” She looked up without taking her head off his chest. “I thought you told me that you didn’t have telepathic abilities, yet it sure felt like I touched your mind. I could hear your innermost thoughts and feelings.”

“I don’t know,” she closed her eyes, “and yes, it indeed felt like I touched your mind.” She picked her head off of his chest and passionately kissed him again as he held her tightly.

As the kiss ended, she looked down into his eyes. “This is everything I’ve ever wanted.” She hugged him again. “As for what happened, I’ll ask a couple of other Zaltaens that I know.” She looked back into his eyes before putting her head back down on his chest. “I love you,” she whispered as David yet again hugged her tightly against himself.

They stayed like that for some time until she sat up. “You know, if you plan on getting some breakfast with me, maybe we should think about getting going. And I do want to go have breakfast with you before you go to work.”

“Yeah,” he sat up on the bed, “let’s get ready.” He then sat on the side of the bed and picked up the jeans that he had been wearing the day before and pulled them up after which he went to his dresser and got some socks after which he sat back down on the bed and put them on after which he put his shoes on and tied the shoelaces. He then bent down and picked up the t-shirt that he had been wearing the day before, sniffed it, and shook his head. “Nope,” he laughed as he threw it aside and walked over to the closet to get a clean shirt.

After he pulled his shirt on over himself, he glanced over his shoulder at Alyssia who was also getting dressed. “I’ll leave the room to let you get dressed, alright?” He was about to leave the room when she called him. “You know you don’t have to leave the room, right?” He turned back around to face her. “I mean, you did see me get undressed and naked last night. Leaving the room to let me get dressed is a bit of a moot point, don’t you think?”

“Um,” he looked to her as she was getting dressed, “I guess so.” He continued to watch her as she sat on his bed wearing very little but her panties and what appeared to be the same black tights that she had been wearing the day before. “Weren’t you wearing those,” he pointed down at her legs as he walked over to her and sat down on the bed next to her, “yesterday?”

“Indeed, I was.” He watched her carefully pick at the nylon material of her tights and pulled them up on her thigh to otherwise adjust them on herself. “I washed them last night in your sink before I took my shower.” She then did the same to her left thigh after which she stood up from the bed and watched her pull the top of her tights over her stomach after which she adjusted them on herself once again. “There we go, all done.” She reached for her jean shorts that were lying on the floor, the same pair that she had worn the day before and pulled them up at which she buttoned them at her waist.

She walked over to where her bra was and picked it up from the floor and put it on afterward, she picked her T-shirt up off the floor, the same one that she had worn the day before and put it on. She sat back down on the bed next to him with a pair of white socks in her hands and put them on over her nylon-covered feet before putting her shoes on.

“There we go, all dressed.” She smiled as she turned to him and hugged him. “Am I to assume that you watched me the whole time while I got dressed.” He nervously nodded not knowing how she’d react. “Good.” She gave him a quick kiss on his lips. “I want you to become more comfortable around me much like I’ve become more comfortable around you in some situations. I don’t want you to be so nervous around me when I’m naked since if we are to get that special room for the two of us,” he nodded, “you’re going to be seeing a lot more of that. Right?” He once again nodded.

“Yeah,” he took hold her hands, “I guess I have some things to work on. I was brought up with the idea that a man respects a woman’s boundaries; that is, if you know what I mean. That’s a main reason why I, as I told you last night, I’ve never seen a naked woman before.”

“Sounds like you were,” she reached for the door handle as she looked back at him still sitting on the bed, “brought up with a good set of morals. Well, come on!” She motioned for him to follow her as she opened the door and as she looked out into the common room of David’s dorm, Michael looked up from the couch.

“You two slept together last night?” The look of shock that Michael had seen on both of their faces said it all. “Way to go David!” He stood up from slapped him on his shoulder. “About time you spent some sexy time with your girlfriend already.”

“Michael,” David stuttered, “we didn’t have sex, we just slept together. All we did was enjoy each other’s company while in bed.”

“Nothing wrong with that dude!” Michael slapped him on his shoulder again much to his annoyance. “How else do you think you two will get closer if you don’t spend some private time together?” The two of them looked at each other. “Oh, come on you two, you’ve been together for what?” David butted in. “We’ve been together for about seven months.”

“See what I mean?” Michael exclaimed. “Most couples who’ve been together as long as the two of you have been usually have already had sex.”

“Oh,” Alyssia blushed as she looked down at the floor while wondering what to say next. However, David spoke up. “Hey!” He exclaimed. “What Alyssia and I do or don’t do is none of your business. She’s not ready for that kind of intimacy yet,” she looked up and blushed as he said that word, “and I’m not going to pressure her into doing something she’s not comfortable doing and I promised her that and I meant that. When she is ready, then we will and not a moment sooner.” He turned to her. “Isn’t that right, my love?”

Alyssia looked down at his hand as he took hold of hers and rolled the words ‘when she is ready’ around in her head. When will I be ready for that level of intimacy with David? She asked herself. She closed her eyes as she thought about how she wasn’t even close to being ready yet and how David might think.

“Ok then!” Michael exclaimed. “In the meantime, I’ll let you two do whatever you were going to do.”

“We were just going to go have breakfast together before I go do my tutoring.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“And while we’re eating, we’ll look into that other thing,” he said as he palmed the back of her shapely backside which made Michael smirk, “too.” With that, they walked out of the room while David caressed her backside much to her delight leaving Michael chuckling.

Once outside David’s dorm, Alyssia hugged him. “I’m glad you feel that way.” David rubbed her back. “Because it’s true, I’m not ready. Even showing you what I looked like without any clothing on took a lot of thinking on my behalf.” As she said that someone walked by and they both saw the reaction on her face, it was a look of shock that Alyssia would be willing to show David what she looked like. “But after some serious thought, I wanted to show you what I looked like.”

“And I get it.” He hugged her. “As for what I said back when we first started dating about how I’d never pressure you into doing something you’re not comfortable doing, I meant it back then and I still mean it today.” He let go of her and put his hands on her shoulders at arm’s length. “And as for you not being ready for that level of intimacy,” as he said that she began to wonder what he might say about that, “I know that and that’s nothing,” he shook his head, “to be ashamed of.” She was instantly relieved to hear that. “We will engage in that kind of stuff when you’re ready and like I told Michael, we will do it together at a moment of your choosing and not a moment sooner; I promise you that.”

“Thank you.” She hugged David and held him for a long time. “I’m so glad I met you, you’re everything that I’ve ever wanted ever since I came here to Terra and saw humans dating and otherwise having fun with each other. I love you, David.” She kissed his cheek as he caressed her back. “Me too honey, me too. I love you too.” He cupped the back of her head with the palm of his hand as they hugged each other. “I love you too.”

David let go of her and the two of them began to walk down the hallway past the other dorms and it was then that Alyssia thought about what she would do if she were still on Zalta. Zaltaen women who rarely found themselves in a relationship the likes of which she was in with David would have already claimed the man they were with yet as she thought about the idea of claiming David as her own, she began to think about what was stopping her from doing just that.

She knew that as an adult Zaltaen woman, she had every right to claim David as her own, to form an unbreakable lifelong bond with him, but would he accept that at this point in time? Would it scare him away? The fear of losing him and ruining everything that they had together was something that she couldn’t risk so she decided to wait.

Meanwhile, David knew that she was thinking about something. “What’s wrong honey?” He asked as he pressed the button on the elevator at the end of the hall. “What are you thinking about?”

“Oh nothing,” she sighed as she looked down at his hand as the elevator door opened, “nothing’s wrong.” She lied and David knew it, but he decided not to press it. He figured that eventually she would be ready to tell him whatever she was thinking about.

Later that morning David walked up to his tutoring table in the library with a grin on his face where Erin was already waiting for him. Erin looked up as he sat down next to her and noticed the grin on his face. “What’s made you so happy this morning?”

“My girlfriend asked me to move in with her.”

“Really?” He watched her eyebrow raise. “Well, that’s a new development. But aren’t you with one of those Zaltaens women that we have on campus?” He nodded his head as he unlocked his datapad and opened the tutoring session app. “Isn’t her name Alyssia?”

“Yep,” he didn’t look up as he found Erin’s name in the list of people that he was tutoring that day, “the one and only, Alyssia.”

“And she asked you to move in with her. What brought this on?”

“Well,” he looked up from his datapad, “I guess she wants to spend more time with me after we spent the night together last night.” He watched her mouth drop open as he said that. “Oh no, we didn’t do that.” She closed her mouth. “We just slept together, in the literal sense; not the figurative sense.”

“But still!” She exclaimed. “That’s a pretty big step especially for her since many of us know that Zaltaens generally tend to be a bit on the prudish side.”

“I know but she’s the one who asked me to stay the night with me. There was no coercion involved.” He shrugged. “Far be it from me to tell her no.”

“I see,” Erin rubbed her chin, “and I’m going to assume that you said yes to moving in with her.” David nodded as he looked back at his datapad. “I do have to ask,” he watched her look down at the table in front of them, “do you… love her?”

“Yes,” he said without looking up from his datapad, “I do love her. I love her very much. Though,” he looked up to see her staring at the table, “I do have to ask why you have this sudden interest in my love life? It’s not like you cared about that before.”

“I,” she stuttered, “I’m just worried about Alyssia. That’s all. She’s not had a good life at all according to what I’ve heard around campus.”

“That’s true, she hasn’t.” He turned to her and leaned against the table. “I mean you no offense but that still doesn’t explain why you have this sudden interest in my life or Alyssia’s life. You’ve never cared about me beyond me helping you with your calculus class.”

“Yeah,” she hung her head low, “that’s true. Forget I even asked.” She looked up. “Let’s get going, I have plans later on.” With that, they began their tutoring session, but all the while David was tutoring her, he had to wonder why she had asked if he loved Alyssia. As the tutoring session continued, that answer became clear to him; she was flirting with him. She was playing up how she didn’t understand something that he knew that she understood based on her past sessions with him. She was also touching his hand and otherwise trying to find an excuse to touch his hand. Why that was so, he didn’t know. He would’ve stood up from the table and ended the tutoring session if it wasn’t for the fact that he liked the money that her father paid him.

Alyssia, however, was watching from afar as she approached Mardrina, and she didn’t like what she was seeing. Once again, she could feel that sense of jealousy come up from within her and she didn’t like how it felt. It made her feel anxious. “Ooh,” she clenched her fists, “the nerve of that little hussy.”

“Hussy?” Mardrina asked in the Zaltaen language as she looked up from the table that she was sitting at and saw Alyssia standing over her. “What do you mean? Who’s a little hussy?” She turned around and looked in the direction of where Alyssia was pointing at. “Oh,” she turned back in the direction of Alyssia who was sitting at the table across from her, “I get it. You don’t like how Erin is flirting with David.”

“Damn right I don’t!” Alyssia exclaimed as she growled vocally. “David’s mine and she can’t have him!” She was starting to show the normal tendencies that Zaltaen women often showed on Zalta, namely the more dominate side of her that she had not shown David yet out of fear of scaring him away.

“A little jealous, aren’t you?” Mardrina looked across the table at Alyssia and the look on her face said it all, she was jealous and not just a little jealous; she was a lot jealous. Alyssia was about to stand up from the table when she took hold of her hand.

“Hey!” Alyssia yelled. “What are you doing?” She tried to break free of Mardrina’s grip on her hand. “Let go of me!”

“Alyssia!” Mardrina shouted. “Calm down. I know you want to go over there and assert yourself like any Zaltaen women would if we were back on Zalta, but you need to take the time to look at David, I mean really… look at him.” Alyssia took the time to look at how David was reacting to how Erin was trying to flirt with him, and he was doing his very best to fend off her advances. “Look at how David is reacting to her. He’s not giving in to it, hell… he’s doing his best to stop it.”

“Then why doesn’t he just stand up and stop the whole charade already? This Erin is pissing me off.”

“Because.” Alyssia sat back down at the table across from Mardrina. “David’s tutoring her, that’s his job. And if you ask me,” she looked over her shoulder at David and Erin, “he’s doing a damn good job of trying to keep things professional between them.” She turned back to her. “You have nothing to worry about,” Alyssia growled again as she continued to watch Erin put the moves on her boyfriend.

“But I can’t stand watching her do that. David’s mine!” Her voice lowered to that of a growl. “David’s my boyfriend and she can’t have him! If I was back on Zalta I’d be perfectly in my right to claim him as mine as any woman back on Zalta would according to Zaltaen societal traditions.” She slammed her fist on the table which made an audible thump that made others who were sitting at surrounding tables gasp.

“Calm down,” Mardrina took hold of her hand and reached out to her telepathically. “This is just another aspect of human culture that we, as Zaltaens, just don’t understand and probably never will.” Alyssia could feel a sense of calm coming over her as she felt Mardrina inside her mind. “There you go.” Mardrina let go of her hand. “Don’t let it bother you so much, I’ve had to deal with the same kinds of feelings that you’re dealing with now when it comes to my Marko. I’ve watched lots of other women try to flirt with him and trust me,” she took hold of Alyssia’s hand again, “I don’t like it as much as you do.”

“How did you deal with it?” Alyssia looked over to where Erin was sitting next to David and audibly growled as she once again watched her be overly friendly with him.

“I don’t think I ever really learned how to deal with it.” Mardrina looked over her shoulder at Erin and David and then back at Alyssia. “A lot of women flirt with my Marko all the time, I just learned to accept it as part of human culture. I trust my Marko to not betray my trust in him.” Alyssia looked down at the table. “Do you trust David to not betray you?”

David was trying his level best to tell Erin to stop flirting with him. “Would you stop that already!” David exclaimed. “You know I’m with Alyssia.” He once again felt her touch his hand. “Oh, come now David,” she once again touched his hand, “you have to admit that you like this.”

“Um… no!” he exclaimed. “I’d never betray Alyssia and you know it.”

“But she’s an alien,” she touched his arm once again, “she doesn’t know what a human guy wants. Wouldn’t you want to be with a human girl instead? Someone like… oh, I don’t know. Me? Perhaps?” She batted her eyelashes as she interlaced her fingers with his. “I could give you what you want, I know you want it; every guy does.”

He looked over at Alyssia who was sitting with Mardrina, and he could see just how pissed off that Alyssia was, and he couldn’t blame her, he too was pissed off; Erin just wouldn’t stop despite him repeatedly telling her to stop her flirty antics.

Alyssia once again watched Erin run her hands up David’s arms at which she growled again. “I swear to the Great Maker,” she clenched her fists, “that if she doesn’t stop that shit, I’ll make sure she’s shitting her teeth out for the next week.”

“And what?” Mardrina asked. “Be arrested by campus security and give people another reason to not trust us Zaltaens. And then on top of that, have her daddy sue you for assault? No thank you!”

“I didn’t think about it that way.” Alyssia looked down at the table.

“As I said before, Humans have issues with us Zaltaens as it is, we don’t need to add even more to the heaping pile of reasons why they don’t trust us.” Alyssia looked up. “Besides,” she once again reached across the table for Alyssia’s hand. “Ask yourself… Do you trust David?”

“Of course, I do!” Alyssia exclaimed as she looked across the room at Erin and then back at Mardrina. “It’s Erin that I don’t trust. I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her. Even with my enhanced strength.”

“You don’t have to trust Erin; all you have to do is trust David to know that he won’t betray you much like I know that I can trust Marko to not betray me.” She shook her head as she sensed the doubt from Alyssia. “I know, it’s difficult. This culture is so alien to us, it’s hard to understand sometimes.” Alyssia nodded. “But I sense that that’s not why you came to see me.”

“No,” Alyssia shook her head, “it’s not.” She looked up from the table. “David and I slept together last night.” A look of shock came over Mardrina’s face. “Oh no, it’s nothing like that. We just slept together.” The look on Mardrina’s face softened. “But anyway, I experienced something with David this morning when we kissed and it’s nothing like I’ve ever felt before. For one brief moment, it felt like our minds touched.” Mardrina bit her lower lip trying to contain herself. “But how?” Alyssia asked. “I’m not a telepath like you, I’ve never had a gene strong enough to express itself.”

“Oh,” Mardrina began to laugh. “As humans say, you sweet summer child.” Alyssia looked at her confused, she didn’t know what that phrase meant. “It means that you’re ignorant of your abilities. All Zaltaen women carry a latent copy of the telepath gene and during moments like that of intense pleasure, that latent gene can activate. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it can. It’s about the only damn thing that makes the whole shitty situation that we have on Zalta worthwhile, or we’d probably have died out as a species a millennium ago.”

“I see,” Alyssia blushed as she thought about trying to recreate what they had experienced that morning. The thought of touching his mind again was something that she not only found fascinating but something she so very much wanted to do again.

“You didn’t know this about yourself?” Mardrina asked, surprised that she didn’t know that about herself.

“No,” she shook her head.

“Oh Alyssia, there’s a lot that you don’t know about yourself. Say?” Mardrina wondered when she had left Zalta. “When did you leave Zalta?”

“I was sixteen when I was cast out of my House.” Mardrina closed her eyes as she said that. It saddened her that Alyssia had been cast out of her House at such a young age, most Zaltaens were still being taught was it was to be a Zaltaen at that age, especially one who came from a House such as hers. “Needless to say, I never learned any about this kind of stuff about my physiology. I just assumed that if I wasn’t a telepath by the time that I was fourteen like most women of my House were, I’d never have such capabilities.”

“Well, you do… in some situations but I do have to ask, how did it feel?” Alyssia looked up at her from the table. “You know… how did it feel when you touched his mind? Did you learn anything about your David in that moment you shared with him?”

“I can’t even describe it,” Alyssia sighed, “but it felt good. Better than good really!” She exclaimed. “I sensed everything that he felt for me; every thought, feeling, and emotion that he had for me. I sensed it all, I tell you! Great Maker, it very nearly moved me to tears to think that he felt the way that he did about me and how important I am to him even though I’m an alien. If we were back on Zalta, we’d never have that kind of experience.”

“And there you go with that alien crap again. Listen,” Mardrina took hold of Alyssia’s hand, “David cares about you, he doesn’t care or even see you as an alien; you’re the only one who seems to be fixed on that subject. Just let it go and most importantly, don’t worry about,” Mardrina thumbed over her shoulder, “that little hussy over there. If his feelings for you are as intense as you say they are, you have nothing to worry about. You don’t have to trust her, trust him.”

“But what do you think about me saying that if we were back on Zalta…” Mardrina held her hand up. “Yes, you’re right,” she shrugged, “if we were both back on Zalta, we wouldn’t have anything close to the kind of relationship that we both have with our respective partners. When I think about what I have with my Marko and I’m sure you think the same way about your David,” Alyssia nodded, “I can’t help but to feel so lucky that I’m here on Terra instead of back on Zalta.”

“You got that right!” Alyssia chuckled. “Despite everything that’s happened to me and what led me to be here on Terra, being here on Terra and having David in my life has made it all worthwhile.”

“Me too.”

“Enough!” David shouted. “At this point, I don’t give a damn about the money!” He pointed at her. “If you fail the next test, I couldn’t give a damn!” The whole library gasped. “I told you to stop and you didn’t listen.” He began to walk away at which Erin reached out to him. “Nope,” he shook his head, “maybe if you fail the next test, you’ll get it through your thick skull that I’ll only take your flirty bullshit so far.” Other women in the library looked to Erin.

“What the hell’s wrong with you?” A random girl spoke up. “David’s with Alyssia.”

“But she’s an alien!” Erin shouted.

“So what?!” the same random girl asked. Meanwhile, David walked away leaving the two women behind to argue with each other.

“Me too.” Just as Mardrina said that David came walking up to the table behind Alyssia and laid his hands upon her shoulders and leaned over to kiss her on her cheek after which she smiled. “Hey there ladies,” he looked up at Mardrina, “what are you two ladies talking about?”

Meanwhile, both Alyssia and Mardrina heard people whisper about how David had kissed her cheek, but she paid them no mind as she reached up and touched his cheek. “Mardrina and I,” he sat down beside her, “we were just talking about what we experienced this morning.”

“Oh,” David took hold of her hand that was laying on the table. “What did you learn about what we experienced this morning?” He asked in Zaltaen which shocked Mardrina quite a bit, she had no idea that he could speak their native language so well. “Well,” Alyssia began, “Mardrina was telling me that apparently during moments of intense pleasure,” she smirked, “my latent telepath gene can activate giving me brief moments of telepathy.”

Interesting,” David said as he rubbed his chin, “very interesting.” A mischievous grin came to his face. “Maybe we can try and recreate that kind of experience again some time.” Mardrina smirked as Alyssia turned to David, reached for his chin, and drew him in for a kiss. “Oh, there’s no doubt that we will.” She laughed as she put her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him in for another kiss.

“Alright you two, knock it off already; people are watching.” Alyssia gave Mardrina the kind of look that told her to shut up.

They, however, didn’t care what Mardrina had said. “Did you check on getting that room yet?”

“Oh yes,” she passed him datapad across the table at which he picked it up and read the email message that was on the screen, “I most definitely did. And we’ve already been approved.”

“Approved for what?” Mardrina asked as she sat back in her chair and folded her arms across her chest while watching the two of them interact with each other.

“We want to,” Alyssia interrupted David. “We want to move in with each other.” Mardrina’s eyebrow raised, she did think that Alyssia would be up for that kind of cohabitation so early into their relationship. Then again, with how jealous Alyssia was acting while Erin was flirting with David, she could see why. She wanted David all to herself like any Zaltaen woman would. “Why are you so surprised?”

“I just didn’t think you were ready for such things. It took me months after my Marko proposed to me for me to become comfortable with the idea of living with him and of course, share a bed with him.”

“Oh, but I am.” Alyssia stood up from the table at which David stood up. “Come David.” She held her hand out to him. “Come, let’s get out of here. I want to check out our new place.” David took hold of her hand. “Yeah, let’s do that.” He came up behind her and put his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. “Let’s go.”

The two of them began to walk out of the library while they had their arms around each other’s waist. Alyssia looked at David and kissed his cheek. “I didn’t like how Erin was flirting with you.” He turned to look at her. “I know,” he reached up for her shoulder, “I saw how you reacted to her doing what she was doing. You were none too happy, in fact I’d go so far as to say that you were pissed.”

“Yes,” she shook her head, “I wasn’t happy, and yes, I was as you say… pissed.” She once again thought about how David might react to the more Zaltaen side of herself and once again stuffed down the idea of claiming him as her own because the fear of losing him was just too great for her to risk it.

Meanwhile, people who didn’t like seeing a human and a Zaltaen together were plotting their attack on Alyssia. They had every intention to make sure that Alyssia knew her place.

Later that evening David and Alyssia walked into their new dorm room that they’d share for the rest of the semester. Alyssia, of course, walked around the room and marveled at the amount of room that they had. David, of course, came up behind her and hugged her. “This is all ours.” She turned around in his arms and kissed him. “Yeah.” She put her arms around his neck. “This is ours.” She looked about the room. “Maybe we should invite Amanda over some time to have a… I believe it’s called a housewarming party.”

“Yeah,” he hugged her close, “that would be perfect.” He smiled as he held her close. “I love this.”

“Me too.” She held him close. “I love you, David.”

“I love you too, Alyssia.” He reached up and ran his hands through her blue hair as he looked about the room. “Yeah, this is perfect. This is more than enough room for the two of us to be together,” he looked at her in her beautiful purple eyes and kissed her, “and yet have room for the two of us to be able to do our studies.”

“Yeah,” she too looked about the room, “yes, it is.” She wrapped her arm around him and held him close as she laid her head on his shoulder. “I love this.”

The two of them approached a door to what they figured was the bedroom of the suite and were stunned at what they saw before them. “Oh my God,” he whispered, “there’s more than enough room.”

“Sure, there is.” Alyssia ran for the bed and jumped atop it. “But do you think that we’re going to use all of it?” David walked to the foot of the bed and jumped atop the bed and took hold of Alyssia. “Nope.” He held her tightly. “Not a chance.” He closed in for a kiss.

Little did they know that their life of happiness would soon come to an end.

Continue to Chapter 15…

Last updated on Tuesday, November 29th, 2022 at 1:49 AM.

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    Common Access Card.
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    9 PM.
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    Artificial Intelligence.
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    10 AM.
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    11 AM.
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    8 AM.