Neil watched her back arch as she bent over the pile of waste. His eyes trailed down her spine. He hoped a little that he might glimpse something more. Her pants were snug around her waist, and they did not slip. He let his mind come from the gutter.
“It’s a nice pile of shit, huh?”
Her laugh made his chest tight. She fliicked off her gloves. His hand lowered the light he had been holding.
“Why do we continue to play this game, Neil?”
He swallowed. There was pressure building in his stomach. He looked down. It was beyond his control. He wanted to catch the curve of her neck and peek down her tank top. She sat still.
“I know you are looking at my breast.”
His face turned five shades of red. Of course, she knew. She was much smarter than him. He had been a fool to think himself smooth. Her hand ran up his arm. He felt goosebumps rise where her fingers trailed. He looked up. Her eyes were wide. With pupils wider still. Her mouth parted. Did she want him to kiss her?
She cupped his bicep. He felt himself growing stiff in more places. She tilted her chin, waiting for him to make the move. He pushed the thoughts of his wife from his mind. He imagined what her lips would taste like; then he knew. Her lips parted and his tongue slid in. She was soft. Her tongue darted over his. His hand found the small of her back. He couldn’t believe it. She moaned between breaths. His hand trailed under her shirt, heart pounding hard inside his chest. He felt giddy. Kissing her hard, he slipped a hand to the curve of her bottom. It was firm and yet soft. He squeezed. Hips pressed into his thigh. Shifting his lip down, he nibbled on her neck. Nothing else but her smell remained real. Her hand fumbled with his belt. He pulled her pants down with a tug. There was nothing underneath. A moment passed where he drank her in. She was trim and fit, but some pudge still existed on her hips. She had borne children, but it didn’t stop him from lusting for her. He pulled her shirt over her head. Her breast sagged. Yet were fuller than they looked inside her shirt. Her lips found his ear. She nibbled. His pants fell to his knees. Her fingertips brushed over him. He wanted her more than anything he had ever known. She turned. Placed her hands on the wall, ready for him; he stepped behind her. She was exotic.
The growl echoed. It came from the darkness. Where they had sealed off the tunnels months before. Jennifer stood straight. Neil looked off into the pitch black. He couldn’t see a thing. Fumbling with the light, holding it before him didn’t help. Whatever it was; was far down the shaft. Neil turned to Jennifer. Fear reflected her eyes. The moment of lust had disappeared. He felt it, too. He reached down, pulling his pants back around his waist.
“We had better tell the General.”
“What kind of growl?”
Jennifer tried to concentrate on his questions, but Neil still fluttered in her mind. Like a pesky fly that refused to be killed. She waited till he repeated the question.
“What kind of growl, Jennifer?” She didn’t know how to explain a growl. Did he want her to imitate the beast?
“A loud one, like I said.”
A wince scrunched his face. They always took things so personally. His type was always formal. Sure, he would try to crack a smile, but it was bland and unreal. His hands came up sweeping over his haggard face. He had looked much younger when they had boarded the ship.
“Something large, if I had to compare, I would say a lion.”
His face contorted. She could tell he hated her. At least he didn’t bother to try to hide it. “Lintel, bring in Adam Harvey. Tell him his men are to gather their supplies.”
He meant guns. They always meant guns. “I am not sure it is hostile.”
His eyes flashed over her. She could tell he was done with her. He would have forced her from the room, but Neil stood beside her.
“It did not attack us, sir.”
He nodded. “Of course, it didn’t. There was three feet of dirt between you.”
She wanted to smack him. She knew better though. She wouldn’t last a second in the shackles. So, she bit her tongue.
“Adam won’t be ordered to shoot first. I will inform him to use caution. He will use his own knowledge of situations to perform his duties. You have nothing to worry about.”
She wasn’t worried. It was clear the only man worried in the room was the General. He turned again towards Lintel. “What are you still doing here?” The boy didn’t flinch. She wondered what his thoughts were. She knew they probably didn’t hold many nice things about old General Garman. Paper gave the proper salute. Then, he turned and left the room. She didn’t envy him much at that moment.
He crouched down. He had heard the yells. The lights bounced off the walls all around him. He had seen their faces. Pink and soft; he felt his own face. Hard and large; his eyes stuck to the sides. Theirs had sat in the middle of their heads. He cringed at the memory. What ugly creatures. Where had they come from? He held his breath. He thought he heard something in the distance. The scrape of dirt and heavy footfalls, he pushed himself lower to the ground. He had run out of space to hide. If they turned down this tunnel, they would have him trapped. He felt something akin to fear, but it was different. It didn’t make him want to run anymore. Now, he wanted to jump out. He wanted to fight. The growl he let out was not of his own doing, but it came from his mouth. The dirt trickled down from the ceiling.
If they hadn’t found him by now, they at least knew where to look. His belly churned. Why did it always pain him so? He felt his hands grip the dirt inside his palms. His long claws easily displacing the floor beneath them.
It was several moments before he heard the noises again. Then, the lights bounced from the walls. He couldn’t control it, he growled again. He focused on the light. The creatures rounded the curve of the wall. A handful of them; he couldn’t keep track. He couldn’t remember how to tell the difference between them. They blurred into each other. He stood upon his legs. They were strong beneath him. The creatures growled. Then, they held up something. He stepped slowly toward them. They were going to hurt him. He didn’t know how he knew this, but he knew it. He could slightly remember their pink faces. Something about them screamed pain. Then, the flashes of light came with heat. Small objects hit his hard chest. It felt like rocks falling from the ceiling. The creatures growled again. Were they attacking? He sent his own growl from his chest. It shook the walls. The creatures backed away. His hand swiped at the one in front. It opened his face, red liquid running warmly over his hand; he tasted it. It was sweet. He enjoyed it. The creature fell. It was curious. Much louder than a wiggly creature in death, the others backed away. The little flashes of light came more frequent. They also growled weakly. He stepped after them.
Two more went down before him. He rummaged their bodies, licking the sweet red substance from them. Three more quickly followed in death. He looked around. None were left. What were these things? He bent, pulling what he supposed was an arm from the body. His sharp teeth split it into halves. He had to half of them again before swallowing. His belly felt different. It didn’t hurt anymore. He smiled. At least he thought it was a smile. He reached down and pulled more of the body apart. His stomach felt warm. The creatures must be the reason.