Bella ignored Emit’s insistence that he would clean, and picked up the bowls, carrying them to the sink to be washed. Perhaps she should go knock on his door and apologize, though she hadn’t the faintest idea why. Was it because she teased him about being a spy?
Retiring to her room, Bella sat on her bed, legs folded, trying to concentrate on her homework. She needed to finish writing a short play by the following Thursday for her script writing class. Try as she might, she couldn’t focus. She kept thinking about Emit. A space ship… he had said. He had spent time in space. Perhaps he was one of the “lost children,” an orphan due to the Food Riots on Luna. Perhaps he had been conscripted into the Simterran military. She had never met an orphan in the Youth For Good program, formerly the Youth Corps. In fact, she had never met anyone from Luna. Perhaps their lifestyle on the moon really was different from Simterra, though she doubted it was quite as matriarchal as the description of Emit’s society. Where in the universe could he be from?
Poking her head into the hallway, Bella awkwardly smiled at some passing students, both of whom gave her strange looks. She walked to the hallway where Emit had disappeared, and then paused, twisting her foot behind her other ankle. She didn’t exactly know which room he was in. Biting her lip, she ran a hand through her hair, undoubtedly messing up her ponytail. She didn’t really care. Why does it matter where he’s from? she wondered. Timidly, she tiptoed through the hall, listening for the sound of his voice or looking for something to indicate where he went. She was about to turn around when she heard what sounded like singing, coming from the common bathroom. Bella softly pushed the door open, listening, and a cloud of steam puffed into her face. Without thinking, Bella walked inside.
Emit was evidently showering, and she realized she was probably intruding. She walked daintly to the sinks, turning the faucet ever so slightly so she could wash her hands, and have some excuse for being in the room.
“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,” Emit’s deep and rich baritone voice floated up and over the shower curtain.
“I wish I could,” Bella muttered to herself, and then smiled at her sarcasm.
“Who is present there?” Emit called out, over the shower curtain.
Her smile dissipated. Panicking, she whipped her head around and backed into the doorway, hitting the marbled glass with her head. Ow!
“Emit…it’s me…” she admitted, rubbing the back of her head with her hand, grinning sheepishly. “I’m…uh… sorry to barge in here… I just…wanted… I can come back…” she turned and gripped the handle.
The heard the shower curtain push aside, and Emit stepped from the fog. Bella’s heart pounded as she leaned her head against the door, almost afraid to turn around. She had no idea what to expect. Instead, she felt Emit’s bare chest brush her back, his hairs tickling her skin, as his arms came up and around her frame. He embraced her from behind. Okay not the reaction I was expecting.
“Do you wish to mate?” he inquired as if asking her to hand him a pencil.
“Mercy! No! What? Um… ah!” Bella shrieked, throwing his arms off of herself, and turning around to see a fully naked Emit standing before her.
Averting her eyes, she darted to the side, throwing her hands up to her face. “What? Put some clothes on! Or a.. er… something…um…” she glanced about frantically for a towel, and chucked one in his direction without looking. “…or…um… I’ll leave…”
She tried to walk to the door, eyes still closed, but found herself wandering the opposite way into the showers. She batted at the curtains like a cat, and cleared her throat, feeling like she would die of embarrassment.
“Why would you…um…ask that?” she squeaked, still looking at the ground.
“Because you have entered my space,” he replied, drying his face with the towel.
“What? Um… no… your space?” she chuckled awkwardly as she tilted her head to the side, and tucked one leg behind the other, making a point to look only at his face. “…the common bathrooms?”
“Yes, but I am unclothed,” he stated the obvious. “You have entered my space,” he repeated, seeming to be completely comfortable with his nudity.
She shook her head, her cheeks the brightest red they had ever been. What was he talking about? Mating? What the hell? Bella gasped for air, suddenly feeling claustrophobic. The thick steam seemed to clutch her throat, impairing her ability to think clearly.
“Would you like me to keep singing?” Emit inquired. “I can see all obstacles in my way.” He offered a genuine smile, completely oblivious to her intense discomfort. “I like this song of Simterra. I apologize for the distraction. You must want to mate with me. I am ready for this if it is your wish.”
“Um… well…er…no…but I… well… I was making sure you were okay. That I didn’t make you mad. I didn’t come because I’m into you or anything like that,” Bella rambled. “…I mean… you wouldn’t understand into, would you? I…uh…”
“It appears as though you want me,” Emit stated simply.
She was shocked at his calmness, and there wasn’t a hint of licentiousness in his tone. He seemed to be stating a fact, a normality for him, without any lascivious intent or desire to embarrass. Nonetheless, Bella felt awkward, and that was an understatement.
“No…I mean…yes… I mean… no,” she stammered. “Emit… I just wanted to see if I could buy you some ice cream to um… make up for upsetting you at dinner.”
“You did not upset me. I wish to protect you,” he walked toward her, and with every step, she felt like her heart would leap out of her chest. “…and that is why I did not answer your question. My people are unfailingly honest, and so I cannot lie to you, but I cannot tell you the truth. I do not wish to frighten you.”
“Frighten me?” she narrowed her eyes. “I was afraid I would frighten you.”
“Why?” he puzzled, reaching for her hands.
She trembled, completely aware of his fully naked body, but refusing to look down. “Because… I am…”
What am I? Mortimer called me a hybrid, a special Sim being. Mom said I was a witch. Dad said I am a vampire. I am north, but I am neither. I’m not fully Sim.
“I’m a monster.”
Emit lifted her hands up and looked into her eyes with a deep compassion. “Oh my dear lady, I am the monster.”
“You couldn’t be,” she mouthed as he squeezed her hands against his chest, the tears welling in her eye corners.
“I know what you are,” he said.
“Yes, you are a supernatural.”
“How did you know?” she breathed heavily.
“Because I am…” he sighed. “I am not from here.”
“Well that I know.”
“I will tell you something I have told no other. I fear for things changing for you but I fear for things staying the same for me. I fear for being alone on this life. I am afraid you will hate me but I cannot bear the burden alone any longer. You must promise me that you will not repeat what you hear because it could put your life in danger.”
“I swear,” she bobbed her head.
“I am… what you call… Xenosi,” he replied. “And we created you.”
Bella expected the panic to settle at any moment. Her heart felt as if it had been squeezed, and every drop of life remained frozen within her veins. Blue-haired Emit Relevart, the man who had been face down, crumpled, beaten, and bleeding outside her door two years ago, had just confessed to being the enemy. The green-skinned Xenosi? It wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be. Her world had just finished a war with the alien race. This was beyond unreal.
“Bella? Milady?” Emit’s voice cut through the fog.
She shook her head.
“This…can’t…be…happening…” she bent over and grabbed her knees, wheezing as she attempted to catch her breath. “You…you…are…one of them?” she glared up at him, uncertain how she should feel.
Her entire body trembled and her voice vibrated with anger. “You are the…you are a Xenosi? You killed my people? You threatened my world? You abducted us? Your people made us… made us the monsters we are? Made me a supernatural?” She shoved him back into the shower room with surprising force.
“Milady?” he dropped to his knees, naked and dripping wet, hanging his head.
Bella yelled in frustration, holding the side of her head as she seethed with rage. His people were the reason she was cursed.
Emit spoke meekly. “If you should so wish it, I will gladly take my own life to spare you the further shame of fraternizing with the enemy.”
Bella’s hands trembled, and she collapsed to the wet tile floor, feeling the full weight of what he had just offered. Her heart softened, and she immediately felt guilty. Here was a man who had been nothing but kind to her and he was offering to commit suicide in order to fulfill her desire for vengeance. This was not the face of a man who was her enemy. Emit was nothing like what she had imagined the green-skinned aliens to be.
“I…” the word fell from her lips, and a wail escaped from her throat.
She covered her mouth in horror, and cried, muffled sobs into her hands. “How can this be?”
“Let us stop discussing for the night,” he suggested gently, pushing her hair over her ears. “I think you need to gather your thoughts and feelings, and you would be more comfortable in another setting.” Emit lifted her from the floor. “Will you meet me in my room at nine tomorrow morning.”
“I…” she began.
She wanted to figure everything out tonight. She wanted the truth, but exhaustion was threatening to devour her whole and her shoulders slumped.
“I will,” she promised.
Author Note: Time traveling Emit Relevart is a Xenosi. Yes, you read that right. If you have no idea what a Xenosi is, please read more about these aliens on my other blog here.