There is a knock on my door. I walk over to the door and I see Royce standing there.
"Captain, there's something you
have to see."
I look at the time. It's 07:05:40 UTC. Royce is usually up early. That's always been his thing. He likes to wake me up so we can run across the lower bay or exercise in the fitness room on board the Pioneer. This is unusually early even for him. I haven't brushed my teeth yet, I'm still wearing an undershirt and some boxers.
"Royce it's pretty early."
"This can't wait. Lucky has a surprise for us."
I sit there for a moment and think about Lucky. Lucky is my strange bedfellow. Someone who I shouldn't like but for some reason I do. I guess when people say opposites attract they mean it. The guy is insubordinate and rude. He manages not to be fat even though he takes the worst care of his body. Lucky is abrasive and a terrible soldier. Somehow I care about him though. I don't know why but I do.
"Well give me a half an hour...I'll
"It can't wait."
Royce isn't the type of guy to be excitable. Out of all my crew members I've gotten to know him probably the best. He has to be the single most laid back guy left in humanity. Somehow him standing here however is showing me that something important is happening.
"Ok, let me just put on some
I come out 5 minutes later and Royce is damn near running as he leads me. I can see sweat dripping from his forehead. He's nervous but he's smiling. I don't get it. Literally nothing has ever excited Royce like this. Not even his own girlfriend. What the hell was going on?
We meet in the hanger bay. I notice a few of the others are arriving as well. I look over and notice Cassie.
"What's going on?" I ask her.
She shrugs, "Katashi came and got me. Lucky has something to show us."
If Cassie was up then this was definitely important. You literally had to drag the girl out of her bed. We walk into the Heavenly. Cassie and I are the last to arrive. A few of the crew members have huge smiles on their faces and I don't get why.
I cross my arms as I see Lucky. He gives me a nervous look. The boy never really looks nervous but right now he does. He's sweating on his forehead, just like Royce was.
"It's a miracle, Captain," Trucker tells me.
Trucker is crying. Tears are rolling down his eyes. It doesn't take a lot to make the kid cry.
I've been trying to toughen him up but it doesn't always work. I am kind of giving up on that part of
"You guys going to spit it out or are we going to be here forever?" I ask.
Lucky crosses his arms, "He's still
a little confused and somewhat dehydrated for some reason. So let's not bombard him with a bunch of
questions. He still needs to get to his
"Who does?" Anne asks.
We look over at Lucky. He takes a deep breath, "Hold on."
Lucky goes to the back of the shuttle. It's towards the observation deck of the shuttle where we usually stare out into space. When Lucky returns he's not alone.
The person walks out looking weak and fragile almost as though he's just run a marathon. There are bags underneath his eyes and his eyes are wide as though the lights aboard the Heavenly are too dim for him to see around.
He runs out and stumbles.
I catch him. My body reacts quicker than I've ever reacted to anyone in my life. I put him in my arms and I hold him at that moment. I keep him with me. I just look at his face at that moment and I'm completely shocked.
"Selah," I state.
I look back at Lucky. Lucky looks back at me. All of a sudden I understand the excitement. I understand the nervousness. When I touch Selah's skin it is cold. Freezing almost. I can't help but to hold him close even here. Even now.
I press my body up against him. Selah looks up at me.
"You're alive..." I state.
I almost think this is a joke. I almost think this is something set up by the Alien Upsetters. I think that someone has fucked with me somehow but when he looks in my eyes I don't feel that way. All my inhibitions go right out of the window. All the things that I wanted to do with Selah that I didn't get to come into my mind.
I lean forward.
I forget where I am. I forget my team is watching. I forget Lucky is watching.
I kiss him.
My tongue goes straight into his mouth. There are no hesitations. There is no second guessing. He kisses me back. We hold each other and it feels like we are floating among the stars. I wrap my hands around him and keep him there so tightly. I don't want to ever let him out of my sight again. I don't want to ever let him go. I am losing myself in Selah. I kiss him so hard he leans back, pressing his cold lips against mine and rubbing those cold fingers through my hair. I want to warm them up so badly. I want to bring him back to life.
"Chad..." he whispers.
He looks around. He's pointing out that people are watching. My entire crew just saw me kiss Selah.
"It's OK," Kakashi states, "We
I look at the other faces in the
room. Most of them aren't
surprised. For so long I had gone around
pretending like Selah and I weren't together.
In a matter of a few seconds I had debunked my entire fašade. I thought I lost him. Now that I had him back
nothing seemed to matter. Almost
nothing. I look to my right and see
Lucky. He looks away. He doesn't watch us kiss. I wonder what is going through his mind but
then I feel Selah's fingers on my skin and those concerns fade away. Right now I need to be selfish. I needed to think about my own wants and
Selah was my want. He was my desire.
"We're all fine with it," Anne states.
Knowing my crew somehow was not only aware of my relationship with Selah but never made me feel some type of way about it makes me smile. Anne doesn't seem to speak for everyone though. Idris has his arms crossed in a negative demeanor and Lucky has gone completely mute.
"How did you find him?" I ask Lucky.
"Jonathan brought me to him."
"Why you?" I ask.
Lucky shrugs. He's uncomfortable. It's clear. He doesn't want to talk about this. I don't blame him. Right now things are awkward as fuck between us. I knew we were going to have a conversation sooner or later now that Selah had reappeared. I wasn't sure what that conversation would entail. I wasn't sure how we would have it. I just knew it would be the hardest conversation I ever had to have.
"Where is Jonathan?" Anne asks.
I realize now that he is the only member of my crew missing. A lot of times I forget that Jonathan is around. He's so quiet all the time. He's so strange. I don't get how he got Selah. I don't get how Selah is still alive.
"I went to his room to get him, but he was gone," Royce answers.
"What do you mean gone?" I ask.
"He's gone. No trace of him. He's just...gone."
We all look at one another. A cold shiver goes up my spine. Who was Jonathan actually? How had he known where Selah was? I think everyone is thinking this same thing though. Everyone is wondering what is happening aboard the Pioneer. We can't explain it and that fear of something you can't explain seems to be getting the best of us.
It's Idris who looks over at Selah.
He gives him a hard look. A very hard look.
"How are you alive?" he asks Selah.
It's the question that all of us want to know. Selah looks at Idris. He looks over at me relatively quickly. He hangs his hands around my neck as though pressing me to escape this situation for right now.
"I'm tired," he tells me.
"HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL ALIVE!" Idris states.
I don't know what causes him to freak out like that but he even makes a slight charge in a threatening way to Selah. He doesn't get far though. Lucky interrupts him. He hits him hard in his chest knocking him straight on his ass and balls his hands up in a fists in case Idris was attempting to get back up. Idris doesn't get back up though.
From the ground he points at Selah,
"How do we know that thing is Selah?"
"Look at him. It's Selah," Royce states.
"How do we know?" Idris asks again.
I shake my head. I didn't have time for this. Selah was shaking. He was cold.
"I'm going to take him to get some rest. I'll be back," I state.
Lucky looks over at me, "You think
that's a good idea? To leave him?"
"He'll be fine."
"I can go stay with him," Lucky states, "Jonathan trusted me with him."
For some reason something snaps in
me. I don't know what it is. I think it's jealousy by how Lucky is looking
over at Selah. It's almost as though he
has some claim over him that I don't have because of Jonathan. At this point I didn't even understand
Jonathan's role in all of this. Lucky
standing here right now claiming that for some reason he has the most reason to
be with Selah blows my mind.
"Lucky, I'm the captain."
"I know that."
"Good..." I state letting that linger into the back of his head for a moment so that he understands who's in charge here," I'll be back."
"I'm so cold," he states.
I take Selah back to my room. He goes for the bedsheets but I stop him.
"Wait. I should change those."
"Why? You've been having company since I've been gone?"
My mouth gets dry. My heart is beating. I'm ripping the bedsheets off. They smell like Lucky. I can't get Lucky's smell out of my head once I get whiff of it on the sheets. I couldn't let Selah smell them. My stomach is turning right at that moment. I change the sheets quickly and turn back to Selah. He is giving me this long stare as though still waiting for my answer to his question. I get so nervous. I open my mouth wondering how the fuck I would tell Selah about Lucky.
I close my mouth.
I don't know if I could let that out.
Luckily Selah's face goes back to a
smile, "I'm just joking. I know you wouldn't."
Selah lays in my bed at that moment. I look at him. He's so beautiful. I don't care what Idris says I know that this isn't some imposter. This is the real Selah. He gives me a look like he's always given me. He has a way of looking at me that makes me feel like I'm so special. It's a slight squint he does and the way his eyes linger on me as though I'm the greatest mystery in the universe.
I'm no mystery though. I've always been boring Chad Kane. However, Selah always looks at me as though there is something so much more to me. I love the feeling.
"I love you."
The words just come out of my mouth. Right now I'm transported back to the first time we met. The hour of the Upsetting. Selah reaches over and grabs me. He pulls me into the bed with him. He lowers himself onto his back but wraps his legs around my waist to bring me down with him. He is still cold but his body is warming underneath me.
I start kissing him. I'm frantically kissing him. My mouth is hungry for his. My dick is hungry for his ass. I find myself taking off his clothes. There is no one here to interrupt this time.
"I love you too," he tells me.
Him saying those words sends me into a full frenzy. He's naked in no time and I'm kissing every part of his body. Every inch gets my lips or my tongue. I worship this man until every part of him feels like he has my full attention. I make it to his lips. More kisses but this time they are much more wet. I make sure I'm licking him, swallowing his tongue.
Within a matter of seconds, I'm sliding in him. My wet dick hitting the back of his prostate. He pulls on the bed and squirms.
"Am I hurting you?"
"You could never hurt me," he tells me.
The feeling of him knowing how deep this connection that we have causes me to fuck him slow. I'm gentle with him. It's not about sex right now. It's about letting him know how I feel about him and what he does to me. I feel my body enter him and everything just feels so amazing.
I fuck him, straining, pushing, sweating and pulling. I make sure he understands how much I miss him. I orgasm in him, pushing it as deep as I can. He takes all of me. If he was a woman I swear I would have impregnated him when I do it. He just keeps looking at me dead in my eyes. I look in those eyes and I am convinced that love lived there.
Afterwards he lays on my chest. He's falling asleep. I notice his breathing get heavy.
"How are you still alive?"
"I was saved."
Selah is breathing heavy. He's falling asleep. I want him to rest but I still want the answers to these questions. I shake him a little bit to wake him back up.
"What?" he asks.
"Were you saved in space?"
"Who saved you Selah?"
It was a strange answer to my question.
"Someone like Jonathan."
"No. Something familiar."
"Selah. I don't get what you're saying."
He doesn't reply. He's sleeping. I stay with him for thirty minutes letting him snore over me and I'm tempted to just watch him sleep the whole time. The man in me wants to stay with Selah and just watch him sleep but the Captain in me knows that I can't be so selfish. My team was probably in chaos knowing Selah was alive. They needed a leader.
I consider the two.
I wrap myself in Selah's arms.
I choose the man over the captain.
I don't remember falling asleep but
when I wake up he's not there.
I'm panicking. Where is he? Was it a dream that he returned? Was it a nightmare now that he is gone? I'm running around the room. I find myself running into the hallway. I'm completely naked but I don't give a damn.
I find him in the hallway. He's not alone. He's with Lucky. They are close. Closer than I like to admit. As I watch them in that hallway I notice that Selah is touching his lip.
"What's going on here?" I ask.
"Chad you're naked," Selah laughs.
"I was worried sick," I state, "What is going on here?"
"Lucky got into a fight with Idris.'
That would explain why Selah was touching Lucky's lip. Lucky has a busted lip. All of a sudden I feel a little responsible. I should have gone back and made sure everyone was cool, but I couldn't get away from Selah.
"I'm sorry," I state.
I'm sorry for coming out and freaking out on them like this. Maybe it's my own insecurity. I don't know what it is but for some reason I just feel so...useless.
"No it's my fault. I understand his concerns. I haven't been able to tell you guys what happened to me. I think everyone needs to know. I'm going to have everyone meet back on the Heavenly in twenty minutes," Selah states.
"I have something to tell you. Will you both be there?"
I nod. Lucky nods. Selah leaves to go find the others and let them know. Lucky and I both watch him walk away. I am tempted to throw some clothes on quickly and follow him. I don't want to leave him alone. I think Lucky is thinking the same thing. I think that is the main reason I don't follow behind Selah.
When Selah is out of sight Lucky looks back at me. He surveys my naked body closely. I know what he's thinking and I can't deal with that right now.
I head back to my room and turn on the shower. Just when I step in the curtain opens and Lucky is standing right there.
"Do you mind?" I ask.
He followed me into my room. Lucky's busted lip lets me know that Idris didn't go down as easy as he thought he would. Idris had a slick mouth but Lucky needed to learn how to control himself. Violence wasn't always the answer.
"All of a sudden you ashamed of me seeing you naked?" Lucky asks.
There is an awkwardness in the air. I don't know how to respond to it.
"Of course not," I respond.
"Did you tell him?" Lucky asks.
"Tell him what?" I respond.
Lucky gives me a hard look. He looks really annoyed. I can tell why. I'm being a little weird right now. I'm anxious about speaking to Lucky alone.
It's almost like he knows my dirty little secret and has so much power over me
"You didn't. Did you?" Lucky asks me.
"No. And I don't plan to," I tell Lucky.
I'm being completely honest with Lucky at this moment and it hurts. It fucking feels like I just reached into Lucky's chest and ripped out his heart. The way he looks at me makes me feel so useless and inadequate.
"Did you fuck him?" Lucky asks me.
I don't respond.
Lucky pushes me hard. Hard as fuck. My naked body hits the tiles in the shower. I almost slip and fall but catch myself somehow. Lucky looks like he wants to fight all of a sudden. I wouldn't blame him. This shit is so awkward and so weird. I can see the anger and disappointment in his eyes.
"Don't put your hands on me," I tell him.
"You couldn't even fucking wait?" Lucky asks me.
"The man I love just came back from
the dead," I tell Lucky shaking my head in disbelief that he can't relate, "No.
I didn't wait. I made love to him. If you want me to feel bad because of that
then you have another thing coming. I
don't feel bad."
"You ain't shit."
Lucky gives me this hard look.
"And if Selah wanted you as much as you clearly want him wouldn't you have done it too?" I ask Lucky.
For some reason I am making it
worse. I know I should be the mature one
in situation instead of provoking Lucky further but it's hard. There were emotions involved here. This was personal. Lucky shakes his head at that moment.
"So what am I? Nothing. No one. My feelings don't matter. This isn't all about Selah. Me and you shared some special moments."
"You not going to admit it?" Lucky asks.
I get quiet. I didn't know what he wanted from me. Selah was back. The love of my life was back. It wasn't even close for me. I did like Lucky. If Selah was gone for good, god knows where my relationship with Lucky would have ended up. The fact is Selah was back.
I make this very clear.
"If you want me to choose between Selah and you...I choose Selah. I'm sorry but..."
"Save your FUCKING sorry," Lucky rages.
He's pacing around the bathroom. He's being aggressive. He's being angry. I knew this conversation was going to be weird. I knew this conversation would be hard for him to deal with. I just had no idea how hard it was going to be for him. Right now it hurts seeing Lucky this way. The only thing that would hurt worse however is how Selah would react if he knew what I had done with Lucky when he was gone.
"Are you going to tell him?" I ask Lucky.
Lucky gives me a hard look.
"That's all you care about, isn't it?" Lucky asks me.
I look hard at Lucky, "Lucky. If you ever cared about me or if you ever cared about Selah, then you wouldn't. You wouldn't tell him anything. Please Lucky."
Lucky shakes his head. He's looking at me like he's disgusted in me. Maybe he has a right to be. Maybe right now I'm being a disgusting person but honestly I don't care. The last thing I wanted was to lose Selah when I just got him back.
Lucky turns and walks away. I'm so afraid.
I'm afraid because in Lucky's eyes was a look of a man who had absolutely nothing to lose.
I meet up with the others after showering. Selah was able to assemble everyone in the room...even Idris somehow. I'm the last one to arrive. It's been 20 minutes like Selah wanted. My eyes shoot over to Lucky as soon as I get to the Heavenly. He is over Selah. Our eyes hit one another. Lucky is so close to Selah. I hate it, but I don't say anything. I can't get mad at this right now. I have to keep it together.
Selah waves and smiles at me as I enter the room. He has his hands in his pockets. He biting down on his lips. I can tell that he's a little nervous especially when everyone's eyes get glued to him. We are all nervous. We are all anxious.
"Any news on Jonathan?" I ask, trying to break the ice.
Anne shakes her head, "I asked
around the ship. Jonathan Torrance isn't
on the Pioneer. It's like he completely
Weird. So fucking weird.
"That's because the person we knew as Jonathan wasn't Jonathan," Selah interrupts.
We all focus back on Selah. He's more comfortable now than when we walked in here. Maybe it's because he's come up with what he wants to explain and how he wanted to explain it. I hate putting him on the spot but I realize that we don't have a choice. We needed answers.
"What are you talking about?" Royce asks Selah.
Selah explains, "He was someone
familiar to me. The Jonathan I met here looks like him. I never put two and two together. I had no
idea they had the same last name until you just said it. Now it makes sense. That wasn't Jonathan Torrance."
"He was an Upsetter," Idris claims.
"No...not an Upsetter," Selah said,
"He was a messenger. Somehow they knew I'd need someone comforting and familiar
to help me. They sent Jonathan here for
We are so confused. I look around the room. Selah is so sure of whatever he is saying. It's almost like he knows it as a fact. I'm concerned about him personally. It seems a little farfetched. I wonder if he is OK. I'm not the only one. Others are looking at him as though Selah has completely lost his mind.
"Are you saying there are other aliens?" Anne asks, "We have no records of other aliens.
I would know..."
"You do know. The voice that warned
us all of the Upsetter attacks was them.
They've been trying to help us all along."
"Who is they?"
"I don't know the names of them. I call them the Familiars. The Familiars saved me from space."
"They have a spaceship. It's invisible. You can't see them. Jonathan saw them though. That's what he always stared at. They've been with us all the time. Guiding us. Helping us. We aren't alone."
The room gets quiet. It's not a good quiet.
"Selah are you OK?" Katashi asks.
"You don't believe me?" Selah asks.
It's hard to believe him. All of us look around. Jonathan was weird. We all knew that but the fact that he was sent by some alien saviors was ridiculous to say the least. I don't say it out loud though. I don't want to hurt Selah's feelings. There is one of us who doesn't care about hurting his feelings though. It's Idris.
"Where were the Familiars when the
Upsetters destroyed our planet? What
help did they give us?" Idris asks, "Why
the FUCK would they help us now?"
"Watch your mouth Idris," I tell him.
Idris shakes his head. He doesn't raise his voice again but I know he wants to. The others are getting antsy too. Whether it's Cassie who is repeatedly rolling her eyes, or Trucker who keeps tapping his fingernails nervously. It could even be Kakashi who is looking at Selah like he's lost his mind. Deep inside I even doubt Selah.
"The Familiars are afraid of the
Upsetters. There are many aliens. There are many habitable planets. The Upsetters have destroyed other planets
besides Earth. That's what they do."
"No shit," Idris mutters under his breath.
"But there is hope," Selah
explains, "They took me there. They
showed it to me."
I hate how no one believes Selah. We are all doubting him. I hate that I don't believe him. I want to. It's just sounding more and more unbelievable as he explains it further.
"Showed you what?" I ask Selah.
Selah stares out into the distance. There is nothing surrounding us but metal. Behind that was the hangar. For some reason Selah seems to see past all that.
What was he staring at?
He points. His voice rattles.
"I've been to the 2nd Earth."