The Isle: Chapter Five (contains sexual content)
I woke early, it was still dark and silent in the ward except for the hum of the fridge and the air vents. I was perfectly warm and cozy in amongst my bedding, it was bliss. The pain in my stomach from the surgery was dormant, after I’d been resting for so long and I hadn’t moved yet. I had slept without nightmares, a rare phenomenon since the invasion. Memories floated in from the past afternoon, when Hugh and I had visited the garden. After our spontaneous skinny dipping in the warm, small lake, (images of his naked body snuck into my mind and I almost giggled out loud, he was breathtaking) we’d returned to the main room soon and had a special treat. The doctor, we found out his name was Sam Ameile had come back with our “grocery” list. He had to get special permission but had succeeded, he said the items were harmless so they allowed it. So for dinner we had drunk cold beer and eaten hot pepperoni cheese pizza. After thanking Sam profusely and watching him leave for his own dinner, we had a merry night around the kitchen table. In the warm light we ate, drank, and laughed. Really laughed. We joked about things from our old lives, embarrassing experiences, we told funny stories, and learned a lot about each other. After we’d stuffed ourselves we played cards, and a good few games of cheat kept the laughter going. Throughout the night I’d caught Hugh looking at me, not in the kind of pervy way some boys do, in a way I wasn’t used to. He looked at me like he could see right through to my spirit, my personality, my heart, and like he loved what he saw. Every time I caught him staring at me I would blush and quickly look away with butterflies in more places than my stomach. A few times the others would catch the exchange and that would be cause for more laughter and joking around. All in all it was a really good night. I retired to bed rather early despite that, I was exhausted. I’d fallen asleep just before 10. I’d slept without interruption, something which is also rare in a room shared with a bunch of guys.
Remembering yesterday gave me new energy and I slowly sat up on the edge of my bed. The pain stirred slightly but it was much much weaker. Standing up slowly, I readjusted my pajama shorts, pulled a soft jumper over my singlet and set out for the garden. Walking through the door outside I was embraced by soft pink, red light. The sky which rimmed the far side of the tree tops was bright salmon, fading to orange and light blue. The exotic colours landed on the surface of the pond like pieces of fabric made of embroided silk. I planted myself down under a tree looking over the water and I sat there for a long time. I thought about Terra Delta, about Cassie. I wondered were my family and my friends were. When the country was invaded, my parents were taken with others in masses to camps. The doctor told us that they didn’t know much about the state of our people, except that able bodied men and women were being taken from the camp to build institutions away from the main towns and cities, for our people to move into from the camps. Big buildings and self contained areas were being erected all over the place, and at speed, due to the convenient possession of thousands of slaves. I hoped that my parents, and my little brother Geoffrey would make it into one of these places soon, it had to be better than being in those dreadful camps.
I was taken out of my thought by the sound of the door opening behind me. I turned around to find Hugh, and I grinned at him. But the smile dropped off my face when I saw his expression. His face was white, his hair even more ruffled than usual, from sleep, and shock and grief possessed and twisted his beautiful face. His image confused me. He was standing in a pair of creased boxes he slept in, one of his socks was pulled up and the other was falling off his foot. This, added to his ruffled hair formed a purely innocent and almost comical look. I should have laughed. But instead I ran to him, fear gripping my bowels. His expression of terror was scaring me.
“Hugh, what is it?” I panted, gripping his arms. Running had completely ignited the pain in my stomach and it was burning hard.
“They’re gone. They’re all gone, I thought they’d taken you too.”
“What?” I had no idea what he was talking about.
“Noah, Tyler, Stephen, and Chris..” he rattled out, “They’ve taken them. They’re gone.” He sobbed, “I woke up and all their beds were gone, like when they took you out for surgery.”
I’d never seen Hugh so upset, I couldn’t get past that. He was always so calm and friendly, affectionate, happy. Even in our situation, he was like the sunshine. He was also the rock, what held us all together. Tyler and Stephen are our comedians, our moral support. Noah was our intelligence, our stamina. He had a sort of quiet confidence and strength you could sense in him, our emotional support. Hugh was our sunshine and our rock. Well, that’s what he was to me. The room always seemed brighter when he was there. He seemed to hold us all together and keep us all sane. To see him broken down like this, over the loss of our friends, was devastating. Heartbreaking. I had no words. I hugged his chest and stood there silently. After a moment he wrapped his big arms around me and we just stood there quietly for some time. When I pulled my face away from his chest I saw with surprise the sun was already almost above the tree line. I took a deep breath and looked up to face Hugh.
“Well, there’s not much we can do. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. If they’re going to do the same thing they did to me, well, they should be back in the next day or two at the most.” I didn’t say anything but I think we both wondered if that’s what they were planning to do, just take a kidney. Of course they could easily take more than that. Or preform experiments like they did with me and worse, to Chris. Then that reminded me, Hugh said Chris was gone too. “Hang on. They took Chris too?” I asked him, but before he could answer I swore and ran, forgetting the pain, inside. I rushed to where Chris’s bed was, and started opening his drawers where all his things were kept. I had opened and closed every single one, and turned to see that everyone else’s stuff was still scattered around the room, before Hugh walked in. I sank to my knees and cried, “His stuff is gone. Chris isn’t coming back.” The day passed slowly. We didn’t eat or talk. I spend most of the afternoon in the garden and Hugh was in the gym, I think. At around four o’clock I was just walking out of the bathroom when the doctor came in the door, he looked extremely tired and strained. I spoke imediately.
“Where are they? Are they ok?” I was breathing hard.
“Tyler, Stephen and Noah will be fine. They’re having the same procedure as you had.” He explained.
My heart sank. “And Chris?” I had to force the words out.
“They decided he wasn’t going to wake up, so they-” he swallowed and looked away, “well, they made the most out of what Chris had to give.”
I let out a sob, and after a moment, asked “So, the organs we’re-” (I was about to say ‘giving away’ but changed my mind) “that they’re taking, they’re going to sick people, right?”
“Yes. Before the invasion, the common people were very poor and many got sick. The country was in such a state… But now, well, you see.”
I sat on a nearby arm chair and Hugh walked in the room. The doctor told him what he told me, and Hugh let out a huff and closed his eyes. When he looked over at me I realized I was crying. He came over and knelt in front of me.
“Is Chris…” He began, but his words got caught in his throat. I nodded, fresh tears slipping down my cheeks. “Oh, Nicole.” He whispered and he hugged me tightly.
“Sorry guys, I don’t have much time. Let me just have a quick look at you Nicole and, oh right,” he said, slipping through the door and returning before it closed, clutching a canvas bag. “I got you some books, I don’t know what you like but this should keep you going for a while. Best I can do at this stage. Right, Nicole, if you would just take a seat on your bed here, I won’t be long.”
When he was done Hugh walked over and placed a couple of cups of coffee on the table by my bed, and opened a packet of biscuits. I drank and ate gratefully, thanking him with a mouthful of food. He smiled at that, and stroked a lock of hair out of my eyes. We looked through the bag of books like kids on Christmas morning. After we’d drunk all our coffee and finished off the biscuits, Hugh took me out to the garden. It was strange to think that it was only this morning that I had been out here, before Hugh had come in, distressed. We settled down under a tree in amongst the flowers. I was still wearing the pajama shorts and jumper I was wearing earlier. I turned to face Hugh, and he was holding out a yellow wild flower he’d just picked. I smiled at the same time as the sun came out from behind a tree and hit my face. The smile on Hugh’s face seemed to falter, his eyes fixed on mine. He looked like someone just slapped him.
“You’re beautiful.” He said. I laughed at his seriousness. He silenced me, kissing me passionately. He tucked the flower behind my ear and lay me down on the lush grass. All the stress from the morning seemed to evaporate in the sun, knowing the boys were ok, with the exception of Chris. But since Chris had been taken away I had prepared myself for the worst. So I felt at ease, knowing he was in a better place now. At that moment, images flashed through my head.
We were five again, Chris and I. We were back in the local pool, splashing water at each other. He’d splashed water into my eyes and I started crying, I threw my hand in his direction and caught his nose. Once I could open my eyes I looked up to see his nose bleeding, and him looking at me in shock.
I had drawn him a card every day for three weeks and four days, saying sorry. Since then we’d remained very good friends. He’d always been there for me, and I for him. Now Chris, the present Chris, was looking down at me like the sun was shining on me through the trees. He was smiling, that smile I knew so well. ”I’ll always be here for you, Coley”, he said, and then he was gone.
“Nic?” Hugh’s voice cut through.
“Kiss.” I whispered.
Hugh laughed, but sounded worried, “What?”
“Kiss, that’s what I used to call Chris when we were little. He called me Coley, and I called him Kiss.” I felt the tears spill down my face again. “It’s ok, he’s ok. He’s happy now, and he’s free.” Hugh stroked my face, drying my eyes with his sleeve.
“Nicole, my darling.” He breathed, and closed his lips over mine once more.
We kissed and sighed for what felt like an eternity. I felt him stiffen again, and this time I felt no nerves, no hesitation. I pulled his shirt over his head, and he helped me out of mine. I wriggled out of my shorts and he slipped out of his jeans.
“I’m ready. For all of you.” I whispered.
“I love you, all of you.”
“And I you.” I started crying again, but from happiness this time. He kissed away my tears, hushing me. He moved himself on top of me, and I spread my legs, his hips between my thighs. It all seemed so effortless, so natural. Guiding himself with his hand, he slowly slipped himself inside of me. I gasped, arching my back, my breasts heaving with my ragged breath, as he entered me fully.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he said, concern haunting his beautiful face.
“It’s ok,” I breathed, opening my legs more. Ever so slowly, he kept pushing until he was fully inside me. I let out a moan, and he groaned deeply. He felt hot and hard, I could feel my heart racing. From the moment he was inside of me, the air seemed to reverberate with passion and heat, love and peacefulness. He moved in and out of me, painstakingly and amazingly slow. With each penetration, each hurried breath, each moan and every sensual touch, the closer I was brought to the edge. Waves of shear pleasure began rippling through me, right to my core. Soon I forgot where we were, who we were, until we seemed to be one divine being. I felt as light as air, like I was floating. Hugh thrusted himself into me, in and out, in and out. All initial pain was gone, and I was overcome by pleasure. He was moaning, gasping, almost yelling with pleasure. I’d lost all sense of time, and I was so close. I was almost screaming, and he suddenly became silent, his rhythm faltering, as he spasmed and a new kind of heat filled me. Once more he let out a broken groan and sank to his elbows, resting his forehand on mine. The waves of pleasure continued to rock through me and I was still moaning loudly, gasping for air. Now I was spasming, I felt myself clench around his shaft and suddenly I felt I was made completely of light, I was falling. With a shuddered intake of breath I was back on the soft grass, beneath Hugh, who was breathing hard. He pulled out of me and I felt my whole body release, and relax. He collapsed beside me, his chest glistening with sweat. I rested my head on his shoulder, his arm around me. I cuddled into his side and together we slowly caught our breath. The sun was now setting, throwing pink and red light across our naked bodies. We silently slipped into sleep, deeply relaxed. Even when the moon had risen and cast silver light throughout the garden, the air was still warm and the breeze was mild. We slept through the night, in a state of internal and external bliss.
I awoke some time before dawn, after having a strange dream, where somewhere inside me a flower was blooming deep in my chest. Its petals a range of beautiful, indescribable colours. After waking I’d found Hugh’s hand resting over mine, on my belly. Under our touch, a deep, tingling sensation fluttered.