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Tortured Soul

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The rain lets up but Cameron doesn't. She's found a spot that drives me crazy. Makes me bite my lip in the hopes I won't cry out. Another wave of pleasure crashes into me. Pulling me under. Sweet surrender. "Easy, Cam. This won't be our last time." I manage to speak despite the quivers racing through my body.

She leans in for another deep, lingering kiss. Her fingers still moving, making my insides twist and turn in the most exquisite pleasure/pain. "Sex is fun, Sarah."

I laugh against her neck. I take one last sweet lick. "Is that your expert cybernetic organism opinion on orgasms?" I try to pull away.

She has other plans. Her fingers spreading, catching me off guard as I try to end the sweet madness. "This will require much more research." One more deep thrust and my eyes are threatening to roll to the back of my head.

"You're going to be the death of me, girlie."

She shakes her head, watching as I ride through another crest. Then she gradually pulls her hand away. "Your pulse is elevated and your breathing is shallow but you are not dying. Did you know the French refer to the orgasm as la petite mort, the small death?"

"No, I did not. Thank you, encyclopedia Cameronica."

"Yet another nickname for me." She doesn't even try to conceal the eye roll. "Yours is coming." She idly taunts while moving closer. "Is it wrong that I like this?" She kisses the edge of my mouth. "The way you smile," another soft kiss on the opposite side, "that little growl sound at the back of your throat," a slow lick from one corner of my lips to the other, "your moans, and-"

"Stop." I cut in. If I don't we're likely to start the whole thing up all over again. She's nearly impossible to resist. Lying beside me, a very seductive smile on her full lips. Dark eyes made even darker with lust. Half naked and still glistening from the rain. "We need to get going." I'm not sure if I'm trying to convince her or myself. Her sigh sounds very similar to mine. Our eyes meet and we share a new smile. "We're a mess."

"A hot mess." She raises her eyebrow and her grin widens.

I laugh again. I don't know how she does it but she's got a certain way. It's charming, corny, and almost magically seductive. I hook my finger under her chin and beckon her closer for one last kiss. She tastes like a promise of great things to come. Smooth, sharp, rich, moist, and somehow savory. "We need to go."

"Yes. You said that before." She rises in one fluid motion. Her hand extends and she pulls me to my feet. "There's a hose near the shed. I have a change of clothes in the car. Wait for me." she winks. "I'll be back."


Leave it to Charley to be more prepared than the average boy scout. Along with the hose is a small stand with soap and paper towels. By the time I'm patting myself dry with a handful of towels Cameron's back. The bag she gives me contains jeans, brown leather boots, a matching jacket, and a green tank top that just about matches the color of my eyes. My new Glock sit below the boots.

She takes a makeshift shower with the hose just as I did. She's unashamedly watching me get dressed. I realize this as I'm watching the water sluice over her flawless skin. "Th-th-thanks." I squeak. I'm humbled by every little thing about her. I clear my throat and try again. "Thanks for the clothes. They fit perfectly."

"Yes. I noticed." She smiles approvingly. "I wasn't sure. You've lost weight. I had to improvise."

"Have I told you lately I like your improvisational skills?"

"You look so sexy in leather." She drops the hose and picks up the nearly empty roll of paper towels. "You are not good at sharing, Sarah."

I'm still reacting to her calling me sexy or I might grumble that a cyborg is complaining about my lack of people skills. "Are you saying I don't play well with others?"

"If the boots fit?"


We've been on the road for hours. The sun beats hard directly overhead. The truck's AC barely keeping up. Cameron's quietly humming and singing to a moody ballad about a couple who's born to die. The sound of her voice is calming. My eyes are half closed.

Bolts of sideways lightning appear from nowhere and everywhere at once, zapping the truck. The engine seizes. There's no impact with anything other than the bursts of energy. I'm not shocked by it. Instead I'm shocked at the sudden lack of movement. Traveling upwards of fifty miles per hour then coming to an immediate full stop is not good for the body. No airbags. No screeching tires. Just a tightening of the seatbelt and my body slamming back and forth. There's pain. Shellshock.

I'm like a fish on a dock. Gasping at air that seems to hold no oxygen. My eyes glance left and settle on Cameron. Her mouth slack. Big, brown eyes staring blankly ahead. Body slouched. She's offline. Dead. For 120 seconds or forever? I barely get my mind to ask the question when the passenger door is wrenched open.

I'm still too disoriented to react. I recognize the dark haired woman with the cold, angry eyes. I see clearly the hate and disdain. She reaches across and releases the seatbelt. Moments later I'm dragged from the truck. My back slammed against the now closed door.

A fist is headed toward my face. I don't recall any thought. My body just reacting. Duck. Tuck shoulder. Full speed ahead. Contact. Both of us grunting. Falling. Colliding with the pavement. Jesse on the bottom. Me on top.

My right hand drawn back. Fist screaming from where it impacts behind her chin. Her eyes roll. One more solid punch to the same spot and she'll be out cold.

But it's not her who gets the staggering hit. It's me. From somewhere behind me, something heavy and solid hits the base of my neck. I slump forward right on top of her. Eyes forced shut from the ache radiating from my neck and head.

"Rack off, you tosser." Jesse shouts to whoever intervened. "The bitch is all mine." she adds and shoves me aside. "Make sure the other one's not coming back."

"She was about to knock your block off. I shoulda let her." The mystery man grumbles.

"I've got her handled."

"Really sweetheart, 'cause it looks to me like she's about to draw down on you."

Fuck. Jesse's boot collides with my hand. I hear the bones snap. There's too much adrenalin coursing through my veins to feel it. Yet. The Glock flies from my grasp.

I sweep her legs out from under her. She lands on her side. I'm on her in an instant. Kneeing her ribs. My right hand is fairly useless but the left connects with her nose. Blood sprays us both.

A handful of sand stings my eyes. Her fingernails following quickly thereafter. Riley was right. Jesse does fight dirty.

Mentally ticking off the seconds and praying for Cameron to reboot I blindly reach for the gun in a holster on Jesse's thigh. Before I can get to it a large boot belonging to the stranger thuds against the side of my head. I'm barely conscious when his beefy hand fists in my hair. I'm hauled off Jesse and tossed face down in the dirt.

"Keep your sodding romper stompers out of this Garret. Go check the fembot. Make sure she's as dead as you swore she'd be. After that we need the truck. Connor's mine."

"Whatever you say, kangaroo muncher."

"Check yourself, mate."

"You threaten me again and I'll dump your funny talking, sorry ass into a wood chipper and use you for mulch."

Dazed. I slowly get to my knees just in time for Jesse's barrage of kicks and stomps to send me crashing back down. Blood seeping into my eyes. I see two of Jesse and sadly not one of Cameron.

"Where's John?" She yells. She's panting from the exertion of beating me half to death.

"Somewhere you'll never find him." My words are garbled. Something's out of place or maybe broken. I take my eyes off her to search for Cameron. 120 seconds have surely passed. She should be pulverizing Jesse by now.

"Metal's gone, Connor. Out of commission for good. She can't fuck with John's head or yours anymore. You're about to join her. Unless you want John to die alone you I reckon you ought to tell me where he is."


The back of her hand comes away dripping with her own blood once she swipes at her nose. She looks at the blood with disgust before she steps over me. Her legs on either side of my waist she slowly sinks until she's seated just above my hips. My already mangled right hand crushed beneath her knee. She snatches my left hand and pins it beneath her other knee.

She draws a knife from somewhere. It's blade already snapped open and coming toward my face. "I'm goin' to enjoy this."

"Just do it."

Her Angelina Jolie plumped up lips spread in a slow grin. "Nah. Don't think so. You'd like it too much if I ended it quickly." She touches the sharp tip against my forehead, slowly applying pressure to pierce the skin. "I'll find John one way or the other." She drags the blade across to my temple. Blood pours.

"What do you want with my son?"

"If he's going to be the Great Leader everybody claims then someone needs to make sure he grows a pair. All your coddling isn't preparing him for what's to come. Derek and me will straighten him out. Teach him to man up."

"No. Derek can't be a part of this. There's no way. He wouldn't. He loves John."

"I reckon you don't know the man as well as you think. Once I bring the little momma's boy to Derek he'll snap out of his funk. He'll come round and he'll know exactly what to do. This will be what they both need. To be rid of the walking tin can and you." She takes the knife to the corner of my eye. "Where's John?"

"Go fuck yourself."

"The harder you make it for me the harder I'll make it for John. Gotta toughen your brat up somehow."

My right knee raises with every reserve of strength I have left. It slams against her back, shaking her off balance. Unfortunately she stabilizes herself with the knee on my right hand. A white hot pain sears through me as I ram my knee upward again and again.

She drops the knife. My suddenly freed left hand smashes against her already broken nose. She falls over, clutching at her spurting face. I grab the knife and roll away from her.

I get to my feet as she's raising her gun. I toss the knife right about the same time she squeezes the trigger.

I flash on an image of John with Charley. I know Charley will give his last breath to save John. We all will. We all do.


Come and take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane
Choose your last words
This is the last time
Cause you and I, we were born to die

Lyrics from "Born to Die" by Lana Del Rey


More to come.