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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2242121
Assignment 3 for Building Sensuality
Annette logged out of her desk and pads, then teleported to her apartment. She showered. Then dressed in semi-formal business attire, a tweed skirt and jacket with a violet silk tank top. A check in the mirror showed Annette an image of the perfect representation of chief factor. She settled an official expression her face, stern yet flexible. Then she teleported to the coordinates he had given her, twenty minutes in her past which put her exactly on time.

She stood about fifteen feet from the beach on the boardwalk in front of one of the open air pavilions draped in soft curtains spaced regularly along the beach. Across the water, a simulated full moon rose from the horizon. The moon showed a whimsical crater scape resembling a heart with an arrow through it. Someone had gotten creative with tonights simulation. Heart-shaped clouds drifted across the sky. She looked up and down the coast. They usually reserved this kind of skyscape for Valentine’s Day. She wondered what was up.

Annette heard music, the tune was, “Endlessly,” by Green River Ordinance. Annette had listened to it, a lot, while her team designed Refuge. She had been under pressure and the song was soothing to her. Behind her, Annette heard the pavilion’s curtains drawn open. She pivoted, overwhelmed with the scent of cut flowers, lilacs and irises. Flowers hung in crowded baskets along the sides of the pavilion. Someone had decorated the pavilion in soft velvet and silk pillows with a low table at the center. Someone set it with a tray of strawberries and bubbling glasses of seltzer.

Surrounded by her favorite things, Annette had gotten the inkling that this was all for her. But who? Annette seated herself on a pile of pillows. She raised a strawberry to her lips, smelling how fresh and sweet it was before tasting it. Annete tasted the strawberry and sipped at a glass of seltzer. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble. Again Annette wondered who. The song started over and Annette sighed. This was just what she needed.

Behind her, the rear curtains of the pavilion parted and Teo’s enticing scent reached her before she had time to turn to see who was there. “Teo?”

He smiled tenderly at her, “Yes.”

“You did this?”

“Yes love.”

Annette’s heart caught in her throat. He had said love. He seated himself on pillows next to her and caressed her cheek. The last time he had touched her cheek, he had kissed her. Her heart did flip flops hoping he would kiss her again, but her mind argued he had been ignoring her. He didn’t love her enough to see her. Annette pulled away, “What have you been up to?”

Teo grinned and gestured around the pavilion.

Annette set her jaw, “You could have let me know you still cared.”

Teo frowned, “I didn’t want to ruin this surprise! You are a powerful telepath. Not that you have been nosing around in my mind, but I just didn’t want to risk it.”

“You could have called me on coms.”

“You can’t tell me you wouldn’t have been able to sense me telepathically, even over some distance. I have felt you when I called you from my family’s apartment.” He crossed his arms.

Annette put down the strawberry, “Well, it isn’t like you're going to propose or anything!”

Teo just sat blinking at her.

“You aren’t…Are you?”

Teo smiled and reached under the table, he pulled out a small square box, “I wasn’t sure if this was the right engagement present, but Carl assured me it is acceptable in your culture.” He placed the box in Annette’s empty right hand.

It was Annette’s turn to blink dumbly. She opened the box. Inside was a ring. The ring resembled a branch of lilacs wrapped around into a circle. The artisan had carved amethysts into individual flowers . She stared at it, silent.

Teo gestured at the box with his hands, “Is it the wrong gift? Carl said you were from a culture where men present rings to the women they want to marry.”

Annette looked up at him and blinked several more times as his words sunk in, “You want to marry me?”

“Since the first moment I got lost in your eyes!” He lifted the ring from the box and her right hand. He slipped the ring over her finger.

Annette’s attention returned to the ring, now upon her hand. Teo’s hands went back to her cheeks and positioned her for a kiss. Annette’s body anticipated the tingling sensation of contact with his lips. Her mind was in an uproar, arguing he didn’t mean any of this. Her heart tried to beat in rhythm with his pulse. He planted his soft warm lips on hers, she kept hers firm willing herself not to give herself over to it so easily this time. He pulled away and stared into her eyes for a moment.

Through the space between them Annette could feel both his physical need for her and the emotional satisfaction he felt just to be in her presence. The time apart had been as much torture for him as it had been for her. He leaned forward again and planted his lips on hers. The contact strengthened her telepathic connection to him. She caught thoughts of marriage, life together, children, grandchildren. Annette relented and softened her lips to his.

Finally taking part in the kiss, Annette felt his heart through the pulse of blood through his lips. Her’s beat in time with his. They were almost one flesh. She felt warmth in places uninvolved with anything but Teo. His lips parted, and hers responded, admitting his probing tongue. Her mouth tingled as their saliva merged. She tentatively allowed herself to explore his tongue with her own. Could they come any closer?

Teo pulled away. Annette felt his reluctance, but, breathing… They both sighed in unison. A silent moment passed between them, “Well?”

Annette raised an eyebrow, “Well, what?”

“Will you marry me?”

Annette rocked backwards slightly. In the kiss she had forgotten that was on the table. Her intellect screamed absolutely not, but everything else resounded loudly with a yes. She knew her intellect was just an attempt at self-protection. In reality, she had never felt so strongly about anyone. Her intellect tried to separate her body’s addiction to him from her emotional response. But why? He loved her. Across from her Teo was settling into anxious anticipation. She needed to answer him.


Teo frowned, “Are you asking or telling…”

“Yes. I mean I am telling! I will marry you!”

Teo leaped to his feet and let out a whoop and a holler. A man poked his head through the side curtain of the pavilion, “Sir? Are you ready for the appetizer?” Teo chuckled and nodded. He kneeled beside her and wrapped his arms around her in a spontaneous hug she could not return. She wrapped both of her arms around one of his from below the hug. Annette’s stomach growled, they both laughed.

“So there’s dinner?”

Teo smiled and nodded emphatically, and hugged her again.
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