“Can you change back now?” I asked and heard a winding slice of fear in my words.
I did and listened to all the sounds I’d heard when she changed into the beast, plus a powerful scream that tore into my heart. When silence enveloped me and I heard what I knew was her hitting the floor, I spun around and scooped her into my arms. She was naked, covered in sweat and a kind of slim, but I refused to release her. Of course, she was unconscious so she had no say in what I did.
I scooped up her clothing after gently setting her against the wall. She felt smaller as if the change had shrunken her. Then I pushed the open button, saw the laser scans, and backed past them with her balled up against my torso. It was a struggle to keep me between her and the security scans.
I couldn’t explain how but we made it through. The doors closer and the elevator began rising not quickly but steadily. Sitting with her in my lap, I felt the grief of regret again churn eagerly in my head, with the tiny voices I called reminders gleefully informing me I’d just perform another soon-to-be-fatal-for-someone else decision.
Which was the moment I saw a small rectangular door set in the wall of the elevator marked ‘lasers handle with care’. I set Margaret carefully down and crawled across the elevator, opened the door and discovered an assortment of laser weapons. Why were they stored there? I didn’t take time to think it through, but was vastly tired of feeling defenseless.
I selected a hand held, and a shoulder cannon with extra charge packs, fully charged. After flipping them both on and watching the indicator lights show both were fully functional, I finally felt comfortably armed to fight whoever or whatever might attempt to hurt or kill us.
Yeah, I should’ve questioned the weapons availability. But when I glanced over to see Margaret as I’d left her, abandoned, vulnerable, looking utterly defeated, I didn’t think beyond my growing emotions for her. When I saw her chest rise and fall, relief joined everything else. I went back to sit alongside her and pulled her against my side so I could wrap an arm around her waist.
She sighed, her eyes fluttered and opened, her mouth parted enough so her tongue might wet her lips. And yeah, I knew I was in trouble. Loving a creature woman from the first half of an historically missing century, well, what else might I do? I wondered.
The elevator rose and sleep greeted me as exhaustion overwhelmed.
I woke to a humming electric sound, looked around and watched as a door in the wall next to, us rolled up and a tray of food and drink stood behind it. I stood and collected everything realizing it was rations for one.