I am just sitting here staring at the spot on the rocks where it happened - that spot. I am so focused on that spot that the pounding of the surf on the cliffs below is just a dim noise barely making its way to my brain. I'm cradling my knees to my chest, trying to hold myself together - knowing that I am coming apart. A familiar phrase plays over and over again in my head as I rock myself, Oh, God, what have I done?
Aeryn would never understand this - never. I don't even understand it. But, God, do I wish she was here now - had been here then. Aeryn never would have let this happen - she would not stand for it.
"Do you like this?" had been Grayza's incessant mantra. No! my heart screamed, but my body responded anyway. Maybe I did.
Oh, God - what had compelled me to kiss her in the hallway? I brought all of this on myself - no one to blame but me.
Grayza had knelt down beside me, leaning in close. She touched my face and I found myself staring into her penetrating electric blue eyes - mesmerized. I was suddenly, overpoweringly flooded with desire. My body yearned to touch her back. I could feel myself straining against my pants. Even though I knew better. No matter how much my mind fought against the temptation it still lost, going out with a whimper as I pulled her roughly to my lips.
What the frell was wrong with me?
I know this one act precipitated everything else that happened there later - at that spot. How could I have let my desire get the better of me? This is not what I wanted.
I have been missing Aeryn so fiercely lately - and the more time passes, the worse it gets. Maybe that's why this happened - I still long for her in every way. Aeryn's "fate" tore an important part of my life away from me - my heart. And right now I know with certainty that she will not come back to me. Not ever. I'm not the one she loved in the end. But, if by some miracle she does decide to return to me, she would never forgive this - never. I have betrayed the one woman I love in the most terrible way.
The stench of the sea brine hits my nose and I recall other similar, yet more repugnant odors from earlier. Odors created over there - at that spot. That spot is closer to the edge of these cliffs, but lower - where the salt water is denser, sharper, and mingled with the faint, malodorous scent of her.
She kept asking me over and over again if I liked it. She asked this as she put her hand on my thigh as if I was her possession, while she leaned into my neck as if we were lovers. I don't think I can bear to hear those words ever again.
Had she stripped me of Winona? Or had Winona already abandoned me at some earlier time? Was that Winona she was laying beside us? To taunt me? How did she get her hands on Winona? I tried to reach for her, my precious pulse pistol, to regain some control, but my body was distracting me. I had such an unnatural desire for that Peacekeeper bitch that I couldn't focus on anything for long - not even to recover Winona and some dignity. Winona lay helpless on the dusty yellowing rocks, bare to the world without my holster to shield her from he horror she was about to witness.
The first time she had asked me that awful phrase, "Do you like that?" I had replied, "It's better than what Scorpius used to do."
If only I had known. . .
Grayza was determined to extract humiliation from my body - and just as I realized this with absolute certainty, I pleaded with her, tears brimming in my eyes, "Whatever you want, whatever, you can have it."
All the while my mind was screaming - But please not this, please don't make me do this. I'll give you anything else. Yet those words could not find their way to my lips. Her only response was to further assert her control over me through my haze of lust - pushing me back against those rocks, those biting rocks. She was going to take me anyway.
She pushed gently at first, almost as if she intimately knew me and knew I was going to enjoy whatever she was planning to do. I sickened at the thought. Her gentleness was more perverse than her violence.
No sooner had her lips met mine than the gentleness ended. She slammed me hard against those rocks - their jagged edges piercing through my thin shirt to sting and bruise me. Winona must have hated those rocks. As I grunted a bit from the pain, I rolled my head and tried to look at her, my precious gun, all alone and hurting. I could barely focus. Was that really Winona? God, Aeryn, why did you leave me? You've saved my life how many times? Would you save me from this? Aeryn. Please.
Grayza saw me staring at the pulse pistol, not paying attention to the task at hand. She was furious and reached out, striking Winona, backhanding her. I heard her clatter down the rocks, praying she would not fall into the water - I could not bear to lose her as well. I did not hear any splash - and was relieved. Winona was safe.
Suddenly, Grayza had my face tightly in her grasp and was starting to dig her fingernails into my cheeks. Why was this turning me on?
Before I knew what had happened she had mounted me and the cold, clammy feel of her was unbearable. I found myself emitting a noise I didn't know was possible. Grayza laughed in my face.
I was horrified - how in the world did I stay hard? She pinned my shoulders down onto the sharp rocks beneath me, bringing forth new wounds on the skin of my back. Then she rode herself to pleasure.
The blessed rocks - I concentrated on the pain, the biting pain - I didn't want to think about what the rest of my body was doing. You must be very sick, John - sick to find some pleasure in this. During her ride, Grayza kept asking me if I liked it, over and over again. I prayed for my own physical release so that this torture would end. And, blessedly, it came.
With a strong rush to my head, it was over in a flash.
I vaguely heard Grayza's voice in the distance, "Oh, so you think you're done now?"
The sound of the ocean around me becomes clearer now as I bury my head in my arms. I can't bear to look at that spot anymore. Twice. I can't believe it happened twice. I didn't even know I was physically capable of that with her. God, on some level, I must have been attracted to her - wanted this. I am so disgusted with myself, knowing that I desired that Peacekeeper whore.
What the frell is wrong with me? I've always been in control around women, never letting my little head control my big one. Now that I think about it though, I did almost lose it with Chiana that time on Moya when Harvey was goading me - when we were all going a little crackers. Pip - God, I feel so guilty about what I almost did to her, even though I had an excuse for my behavior - the insanity defense. But if I had crossed that line, I never would have forgiven myself - heck, I barely do now. She shrugged it off as if it was nothing, but I know it wasn't nothing. She must have been scared as hell. Poor Chi. . .
Ironically, it was Harvey that held me back from that one. Where was my neural clone when I needed him? Damn, he's been trapped in here, too, experiencing this. Harvey's probably even more horrified than I am, hiding away safely in the recesses of my brain - this shit is too dark even for him.
As I came out of my haze I noticed that I was already hard again and Grayza was listlessly stroking my chin with one hand. "See, I told you that you weren't finished."
"Huh?" was all I managed to utter as the world around me snapped into sharp focus.
I saw right away that Grayza was holding Winona and began to stroke her obscenely with the hand that had just been stroking me. It made my blood boil to see her do that to Winona.
"You put her down! Don't touch her!"
"Her? What an unhealthy attachment you have developed towards hand-held weapons, Crichton. So, you like my pulse pistol then? You've developed feelings for it - for 'her'?" She ran her tongue along the barrel of the gun and I realized it wasn't Winona that she had been fondling. Thank God.
She grasped my dick and squeezed, hard. Oh, that had almost sent me over the edge again. Shouldn't that have hurt? Not been pleasurable?
"So why did Aeryn Sun leave you?" Grayza's calm, calculating voice brought me back to reality with a screeching halt.
How did this tralk know about Aeryn? I was furious. She leaned into me again, whispering into my ear. The tenderness again - that sick, twisted tenderness. "I can tell that she made you so miserable, Crichton. Poor Crichton."
"How - did - you - know - that?" I breathed. Aeryn, my heart, this was private - Grayza had no right to invade me like this. My body was one thing, but Aeryn. . . that was too much.
"You look surprised that I know. Don't you know how easy you are to read? I can see it in your eyes - how much pain she inflicted - how you are utterly broken - over the love of a woman," she said in a condescending tone. I guess in the end it was my eyes that had betrayed me.
She laughed at me again, this time reaching under my shirt so her sharp, filthy nails could dig into my already sore back. She found cuts near my shoulder blades and used her nails to rip them wider and deeper. She spoke again, in that mocking tone, imitating me, "'Oh, Aeryn, why did you leave me? Aeryn, please stay.' You're pathetic, Crichton."
Before I could get over the shock that I had somehow muttered Aeryn's name in our last encounter, she had mounted me again, her cold slickness enveloping me, pulling me into her. I shuddered.
"Beg for the one you love Crichton, beg for her. Speak her name."
"Aeryn, Aeryn. . ." I stammered uncontrollably, obeying her. As soon as her name was past my lips the tears that had been threatening spilled over my lids and worked their way down my cheeks in hot, burning lines. I have no idea what made me give in to this woman's every sick desire. I felt so helpless.
"There, that wasn't so hard, now was it?" Grayza gently stroked my tears away with a finger that was dripping with some of the blood from the wounds on my back. My own tears and blood were mixed together by her dirty finger on my face. I wanted to die.
Oh God, Aeryn - how I've betrayed you.
I saw Aeryn's face flash before me, blocking out the hideous cyanotic paleness of the monster that was atop me. Aeryn - the way she had looked up at me after that coin hit the ground and sealed our fate.
"We're in the hands of fate, now," she had said. Was this to be my fate?
Do you like this? And this? Her incessant phrases were lingering in the background, trying to force Aeryn from my consciousness. No, I couldn't go back there. And no, dammit, I didn't like it!
"Aeryn! Aeryn!" I didn't hold back anymore, knowing that I had already betrayed everything that Aeryn had meant to me with this bitch that was degrading me even further with every thrust of her hips. I needed to keep Aeryn with me - as a focal point - to help me get through this. I continued to mouth her name softly - a deeper ache touching my heart with each breath. God, I wish she had never left me. I was crying raggedly now and Grayza was enjoying every minute of my suffering and her domination over me. Words escaped from her blue-tinged lips, bringing me back to the present - taking me away from my Aeryn.
"How could Aeryn have ever loved such a pitiful creature? You're of a lesser race, Crichton. You obviously can't control your baser instincts - look at you taking all this pleasure from me while you're aching for her. What kind of a woman would want you?"
"I'm - not -"
"You're not worthy of anyone, you lousy cock - and you could use some instruction on how to pleasure a woman - as a lover you are quite wholly inadequate." She dismounted me in a flourish.
It is over now - but the mess is still on me, permeating my soul. Stickiness between my legs - I feel gummed into my pants. Grayza's horribly cold fluids mixed with mine - congealed, rotting away at me.
Oh, God, I can still smell her faint stench on me; her smells mingling with mine and the sea. I feel an overwhelming need to cleanse myself - to rid my body of the filth that covers me. I fight against the bile that is rising in my throat. I hold my knees to my chest even tighter and continue to rock in an attempt to still the dry heaves. I stay curled up like this for a long time - a barrier between me and the outside world - it feels safer this way.
After some time has passed out here on the ever-brightening cliff, I feel completely dried up - hollow and numb - but I am staring at that spot again - unable to move. I am transfixed. That spot - that terrible spot. Oh God, what have I done?
Except for the lingering residue of our coupling that is still insistently clinging to my flesh I can almost believe this has happened to someone else. I am slowly succeeding at forcing the entire episode into a distant part of my brain so that I can move on. One last thought races through my mind:
Aeryn, will you ever be able to forgive me?
Thanks to Kaz for the beta . . . Many moons ago.