NaNoWriMo: Posted November 15@10:21
Waterstick bugs darted in random flight around and about Jaith and Naji’s heads. As far as insects could be considered, they were so humanistic. They loved to play and tease – get close, hover, dart off then come back and do it all over again.
“That one was a brilliant green,” Naji mused, lying with her arms flung out at the sides, her legs splayed out and her bare feet up. Jaith smiled, opening his eyes, barely, to look at her Waterstick…because she found it interesting enough to mention.
“Do you think when you’ve completed university that you’ll want to stay in the Port?” Jaith asked, closing his eyes again. He hoped she did. He hoped for children. He loved helping Nom transport abused women into safer environments, but he loved Naji more. He wanted to settle down with her, have a real house, and eat real meals.
He’s keep his job though. Naji was one of those women he saved. He couldn’t imagine her being upset with it. Their bond remains strong – grew stronger really – with the prolonged absences now. He also believed that Naji would be proud to be the family bread winner. He’d provide everything they needed…then returned to giving his money away. Well, maybe not all of it when they did actually have children so they had something for the future. Jaith never cared for money or possessions, but maybe his children would be different.
He didn’t need much, just Naji.
“Probably,” Naji said, twitching her feet back and forth.
“We could buy a home there.” Jaith turned his head toward her, tossing his arm over his face to sun his eyes from the sun. “We could start looking now.”
A nervous giggle escaped Naji’s throat. “We’re not even married.”
Jaith rolled to his side then to his stomach so that the distance between them shrunk considerably. He lifted her outstretched resting arm and crawled in close, placing his cheek on her chest. It wasn’t the most comfortable positions, but he didn’t care. He heard her heart beating.
“We could be.”
Jaith lifted his head, leaned all the way in and met Naji’s lips for a simple kiss. A token they shared time and again when Naji visited.
She groaned, as she always did when he brought it up.
It was her last semester, and he had already looked for the perfect necklace. He just couldn’t get her to remove the last one. The one given to her by the man she still worried would come to kill her for dishonoring him. She claimed it made her focus in the Port, reminded her of when she walked out of her father’s home to sleep on the streets and met Jaith. He respected that. He’d wait until her studies were complete, until the day she could support herself without help in a city that accepted her for her mind and skills. Then he’d buy the necklace and propose.
He still hated seeing that other one on her neck.
This time, her groan ended with a little giggle. Jaith kissed her again then she pushed him away, sitting up.
Jaith’s face flushed, his sleepy eyes awakening and he instantly sat up. “Are you serious?”
If only he had that necklace…right now.
Naji beamed fondly and set his blood on fire. He grabbed her by her wrists and pulled him closer to him. She shifted her feet under her and wrapped her legs around Jaith’s waist so that sat facing each other. “I didn’t want to get into trouble during school. Family got me into trouble in the first place. I knew that when I was ready to start a family again that I wanted to do it right. Jaith stared up at her. She lifted her arms behind her back and unclasped the hook of her necklace.
It was the first time he ever saw her neck bare. That alone was more seductive than what she did next.
With a simple flick, she tossed her old necklace aside. “Just so you know, I don’t need a necklace to acknowledge that I’m yours.”
“I know, but it’s a Lynthian traditional I’d like the chance to give to you to prove an unsaid and overlooked facet of the dog collar necklace we always joked about. Never did we mention how dogs are unconditionally loyal. They give unconditional love. And while some have owners that kick their possessions, some have owners that see and treat them as equals.”
“Well, aren’t you Mister Philosophical.”
Jaith shrugged then pulled her down to the ground with him, against his chest. She clung to him, her face buried in his chest. At first he did nothing other than hold her then as his mind slowed from planning his proposal, he began stroking his fingers through her hair until she fell to sleep on him. His chest eventually became wet from her drool. He didn’t care. He actually waited for it, expected it. It was how he knew that she sleep peacefully, even out here at the Lagoon – six dunes away from Lynthia, from everything she feared. It was one of the ways he knew that she was the one for him.
Naji cupped her hands and took a long drink of the lagoon’s fresh water. Her makeup was smeared from sleeping. From the corner of her eye, she caught Jaith examined her like one would examine a priceless painting. She knew that to him she was, she just didn’t understand why. She was damaged property even though she tried to convince herself otherwise.
“You should drink that slowly,” Jaith warned her. She never paid his warnings any heed. He was always so overprotective, but that’s what she loved about him. This time she considered listening after she woke up feeling sick. Her stomach swirled threats of vomiting nausea, and her head pounded. She knew the headache could be from dehydration.
Naji ran her hand over her brow and cheeks. Her skin felt so hot and dry.
“Maybe I should get Nom.”
Jaith’s sat along the water’s edge, his toes dug into the sand. The ebb and flow of the water climbed his shins up to his knees before dropping back.
Naji grumbled into the water she sipped – she really didn’t like to admit needing help – then she took another scoop of water into her hands and splashed it over his face to wash away the sweat that stung the corners of her eyes. She was pretty sure that her nose had burned under the Lynthian sun. It prickled. The Port babied her skin. She wasn’t used to Lynthia’s harsher weather anymore.
“I’m fine,” she insisted.
She rested back on the sand and stared at the lush vegetation that surrounded the crescent shaped lagoon and hid her. It was a private getaway where she spent too many hours with Jaith. They ate dates and played in the water like children. Well, sort of like children. She lavished herself in the pleasure; she earned it after studying so hard in university…she earned it for being away from him for so long.
Jaith shifted a date around on his fingertips, examining it for signs of damage. Naji ate one. It didn’t sit well in her stomach. The palms surrounding them carried a bountiful more. She could eat more later if she felt the need. At the moment, she considered swimming. The coolness of the water might lower her body temperature. The sun overhead had hit its high point. Naji undid the ties of her shirt, which instantly caught Jaith’s attention. She trembled as she worked. After three years she had yet to share her body with him. When all four times were done, she slipped her shirt off and stood. He watched her from below.
“What are you doing?” Jaith asked, his voice peaked with excited interest.
“I thought I’d take a swim. Maybe the cool water will make me feel better.”
“You took your entire shirt off,” he added, shifting more than usual in the sand.
“I know,” she said, fixing a stand of hair that wasn’t loose or in need of fixing. “I’m going to take my skirt off too.”
Jaith stood as Naji took her first step into the lagoon. She heard him curse as the water deepened, suddenly too ill-equipped to unfastening his own pants. By the sound of the thwhapping, she was pretty sure she heard his feet kicking off wet sand. By the time he was undressed, Naji had started to swim to the middle portion of the lagoon. The water felt too warm.
Jaith called excitedly, “Wait, I’ll go with you.”
Naji twirled in the water. Jaith still stood by the water’s edge. She flushed, embarrassed to see him in all of his indecency. She kicked her leg hard under the water, but her jaw still dropped under. It was like her legs weren’t working right. She spit the unanticipated water out.
For whatever reason what she started suddenly horrified her – as much as she thought she wanted to press her naked body against his, she now had second doubts.
It was her Lynthian upbringing.
Jaith was a good swimmer though and caught up to her before she had time to share her feelings – or really even understand what they were. Their arms and legs flickered under the water, keeping them afloat. Jaith wrapped a single arm around Naji. He’d done it before, but when they were clothed. This was suddenly different as she felt her bare breast and nipple press against his body.
She trembled, partially from the excitement and partially from whatever was wrong with her.
Then her body seized up, and her body sunk under the water.
On his first dive, he saw Naji. Her body strangely rigid, sinking in the water like an oversized boulder was tied to her ankles. She fell into the seaweed. Jaith chased after her until his breath ran out and he had to surface again or risk drowning with her.
On his second dive, Naji was nowhere to be found. Jaith saw a hole shimmering with a brightness he couldn’t explain but was drawn to. He dove there but had to resurface again.
On his final dive, Jaith saw Naji again and was determined to not let her from his sight. He kicked and reached her, wrapping his arms around her body.
But he couldn’t get back.
“It’s fresh water,” Jaith told Naji the first time Naji came to visit him in Lynthia from the Port. Her first curriculum break. She had three weeks.
I want you to go to bed naked. Then I’ll slide into bed.” /evil grin
WORD COUNT: 1784
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