Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nature Abhors a Vacuum: A Murder Mystery (part 21)

Warning: Mature Themes, Sexual Situations

A serialized science-fiction mystery created exclusively for this blog! When last we left our heroine, she'd come to the aid of a drunken Charles while heroically drunk herself. Now, the two explore the depth of their feelings for one another. Be advised: this installment contains graphic sexual content. Proceed with caution.

Charles was kissing his way along Pip's jawline when she announced: "I've had a crush on you for a very long time."

"Hm?" said Charles. He managed to work several different emotions--surprise, disbelief, embarrassment--into one little sound. Perhaps to avoid responding, he redoubled his amorous efforts, suckling at Pip's pulse point while running a hand through her hair.

"I did," Pip said. "For ages. I started listening to your show after I moved out of my mom's house. Your voice made me feel like my brain was melting."

Charles pulled away from her neck and shot a bemused glance upward. "That sounds awful."

"It was wonderful. Like fireworks all up and down the back of my head. My scalp got tingly and my arms got goosebumps. You sounded so smart. And level-headed. And kind."

"You're a very strange person." Charles chuckled and ducked his head. Even now, with his hand resting just beneath Pip's breast and evidence of his arousal pressing insistently just below her hip, he had enough self-control to feel bashful. That wasn't what Pip was accustomed to. It struck her as terribly sweet.

"I like you, Charlie," she said.

"I like you too," he replied. "Very much."

She kissed him. He relaxed against her, obviously relieved that the heartfelt confessions were over. When she slipped her tongue into his mouth, he met it with his own. The kiss turned heated. Charles' hips began to move of their own accord, marking a rhythm far older than humanity itself.

"Pip," he said, playing with the topmost button of her cardigan, "may I take your jumper off?"

His asking for permission floored her. That was something else that had never happened before.

"Sure," she said, and helped him remove the garment. Then she yanked her camisole over her head and tossed it aside. Only when she saw the stunned look on Charles' face did she remember that she hadn't worn a bra today.

"I, uh..." she said. "They're pretty modest, as you can see. Sometimes I don't..."

Charles wasn't listening. "Gosh," he breathed, placing a hand on her waist. He gave her a questioning look and, when she nodded, stroked her right breast with the tips of his fingers.

"Nn," Pip groaned. As he palmed her, she arched into his touch. "Charlie. Oh."

He circled her areola with his index finger, then teased the brown nub of her nipple until it stood tight and hard above the flat expanse of her chest. There was a moment of hesitation before he lowered his head and took the nipple between his lips.

"Oh, God!" Pip cried. With a snort of embarrassed laughter, she clapped a hand over her mouth. Charles' mother was right downstairs, after all.

Charles lapped and sucked, rocking against her thigh. He was extremely hard now and, Pip imagined, desperate for friction. She longed to reach down and fondle him. Yet something was preventing her. A change. She'd felt it many times before.

Every time she'd slept with Ron, as a matter of fact.

Her limbs went limp. Her voice went quiet. A leaden shroud fell over her, pressing her down into an altered state of consciousness. Suddenly, she was connected to her body only by the most tenuous of threads. Her eyes swept the room like lackadaisical search lights. She saw a window. Walls. Books on shelves. She saw the open closet door and the model zeppelin peeking out from beneath a pile of laundry. She looked at the ceiling and she saw the stars and she wondered: what time of year do those constellations represent? Orion looks awfully low in the sky. Does that mean summer, or winter? Maybe it's fall...

"Pip?" Charles' voice was soft and uncertain. "What happened? Where'd you go?"

Pip pulled herself back with a strength she hadn't known she possessed. The world--with all its smells and sounds and tactile messiness--came back into focus.

"Sorry," she said. "I went away for a minute."

Charles kissed her left temple. "Stay with me, please."

So she stayed.

****

Afterward, they lay diagonally across the bed, sweaty and spent and gasping for breath. Pip had taken Charles' hand in the final moments of his crisis, and their fingers were still intertwined, even though he'd rolled off her several minutes before.

"I am thirty-four years old," Charles said without looking at her.

"There's a tortoise in Africa that's one-hundred-fifty."

Now Charles did look at her. "What?"

"Sorry. I thought we were just throwing random ages out there."

"You know why I bring it up."

"Yeah. I know."

"You're still in school, for god's sake."

"I know."

"And here I am, old and half-blind, with chub below my navel and hair that gets thinner by the day."

"I think you're cute," Pip said, and she really did, even though that hadn't been the case at first.

Charles sighed. "You're crazy."

"Charlie, are you trying to say that I'm too young for you?"

"No! No, no, no, not at all. It's just...do you really want someone like me? Won't you get bored? Or...you know. Dissatisfied?"

"Anyone who could be dissatisfied with you around has clearly never had your head between their thighs."

"Christ," whispered Charles. Though he flushed scarlet, Pip could tell that he was secretly pleased. She wrapped her arms around him.

"You're terrific, Charlie."

There was a moment of silence, broken only by the suspiciously sentimental noise Charles made in his throat.

"Thanks," he said. "You too."

****

Pip returned to Duncan's apartment at 4:00 the following morning. Duncan, who had stayed up fiddling with the sound settings on his computer, met her at the door.

"Dude, what the hell?" he said. "Since when do you stay out late?"

Pip made a few noncommittal hand gestures and collapsed onto the sofa. "Tired," she groaned.

"Were you drinking that entire time? Did you pass out somewhere?" Duncan caught himself. "I mean, it's not my business. I know that. But you are my sister."

"I was with Charles," Pip said, and burrowed her face deep into her pillow.

She could almost hear the color drain from her brother's face. "You didn't..."

She smiled against the pillow. "Good night, Duncan."

"Pip, just...just tell me you didn't..."

Pip feigned sleep while Duncan continued to sputter and gape. After a few minutes, he gave up and went to his room. But not before delivering some parting words: "You're supposed to be at that vacant lot tonight. I've decided to come with you guys."

Then, in an undertone, he added: "Someone needs to chaperone."