by Cat Bountry
Lying back on his bed in the far corner of his workshop, Engineer found himself gazing idly at the ceiling, studying a cluster of cracks in the plaster. He was naked save for a pair of skivvies, and he had a fan blowing by his bedside, blowing cool air onto his skin. His eyes lost focus for a brief moment, before he grabbed the letter on the nearest pile of boxes and looked over it again.
Every day that you’re away, I miss you more than words can describe. It’s an agony that is almost bittersweet; when you’re not here, by my side, I appreciate you all the more. I can still smell you in our bedroom, take in your aroma from your jacket when you’re not here with me. I miss the sound of your voice, and when you’re allowed a call, I savor it, like a fine wine on my palette.
I yearn for the feel of your body against mine, of your warmth, our lips locked together, the heat and friction between the both of us. Your kisses are soft yet firm against my heated flesh, trailing down my neck, spotting my breast, as you cause me to gasp. I can feel tremors of pleasure already surging though me, summoned at your nimble touch, pleasures you alone can provide for me as no other man can.
Engineer could help but smile. Irene was always prone to flowery language in her letters when she wanted to get romantic. She claimed she never read any of those dime-store romance novels her friends were so fond of, but she must have read them at some point… their influence on her writing was hard to deny. Not that Engineer minded. The fact that it was coming from her made the frilliness not only bearable, but it made him feel like a high school boy, passing notes to the cute girl in class. Not that Engineer ever did that, really; he was always focused on his studies and none of the girls really wanted much to do with him, calling him names like “Egghead” and “Poindexter.” But Irene never thought that about him.
He was getting off track, though. Late at night, when he was by himself, his mind tendered to wander back to home, to his wife and daughter. Well, mostly his wife. He closed his eyes, thinking of the words or her letter, taking himself back before he was ever employed by RED, before he needed the money, before she was ever ill.
In his mind, it was no longer 1968. It was 1964, and he was creeping into their bedroom. There she was, her auburn hair unfettered by the usual ties she wore, spilling down her bare shoulders, and she was sitting at the desk against the far side of the room, her fingers pounding keys on the massive typewriter he had bought her almost ten years prior. She didn’t even seem to notice him coming into the room. He stepped delicately over trying not to be heard as he placed his hands on those soft, pale shoulders.
She jolted at his touch, and whipped around, her hair brushing into his face. “Geez!” she gasped, placing a hand over her chest. “You scared me.”
Engineer grinned. “Sorry,” he said. “Didn’t think I’d startle ya so bad.”
“Well, ya did,” she huffed. “You know how I get when I’m workin’ on somethin’.”
“How’s it lookin’ so far?”
“You wanna see?” She grabbed the pile of papers in the tray next to the typewriter, and handed them off to him. “S’jus’ th’ first draft, but I’m pleased with it.”
He took the papers from her, leaned against the desk and read over them. He cleared his throat, and prepared his best reading voice. “Madeline found herself hesitating, unsure if she should go through with this. Arkus stood before her, his scales shimmering in the limited light emitted from Xyklon-5’s twin moons, like uneven eyes bearing witness to the events folding below.
“‘Is there something wrong, Madeline?’ he asked, sensing her apprehension.
“‘I-I’m not sure,’ she stammered.
“Arkus tilted his head in confusion. ‘Is this not customary to your planets people to… engage in such a manner?’
“‘It’s not you at all,” said Madeline, turning her head and averting her eyes with modesty. ‘It’s me.’
“‘If there is something wrong with you, I could fix it.’ Arkus offered. He reached out his scaly, green hand, fingers unfurling to stroke at Madeline’s soft, pale flesh on her cheek. ‘Just as you fixed me.’
“‘I’m frightened,’ said Madeline. ‘I love you, Arkus, your mind and soul are beautiful… but your body…’ She looked at him, noted powerful muscles underneath tough, scaled skin; his brilliant, pumpkin-orange eyes; and the clawed hands currently cupping her face. ‘It’s…’
“Monstrous,’ said Arkus, his voice falling flat.
“‘… Alien,’ she said, trying not to tread upon his wounded pride.” Engineer shook his head and chuckled. “Where are you goin’ with this, darlin’?”
“Well, they are in love,” Irene said, getting up from her chair and wrapping her arms around her husband’s waist. “I’ll be goin’ where they’re goin’.” She always enjoyed his renditions of her work, as he would do his best to emulate the characters voices and tone down his own natural accent so that it was barely there.
“He’s a lizard man, though. How… how would that even…?”
“He ain’t too much different from a person,” she assured him. “Jus’ got scales an’ claws an’ fangs, is all. ‘Sides, it’s a metaphor, you know? Like a social commentary.”
Engineer frowned, and placed the stack of papers back onto their pile. “This ain’t some kinda commentary on me, is it?”
Irene laughed. “Don’t be silly! ‘Course it ain’t!”
“Good,” said Engineer. “Last thing I need is t’ be immortalized in literature as a lizard man.”
“You think I’ll be able t’ git this one published?”
“I think so,” he said. “S’far as I’m concerned, yer jes’ as good as all those other authors you read so much.”
“You know how t’ flatter a lady,” she said, nuzzling his chest. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were jus’ tryin’ t’ make me feel better ‘bout all them nasty ole’ rejection letters.”
“Maybe a little,” Engineer planted a kiss on her lips, and then another, and yet another, lasting longer this time. She hummed pleasantly into his mouth, and moved her arms from around his waist to crossing over his shoulders. They pulled their lips apart, and rested their foreheads against each others.
“Rosie in bed?”
“Tucked her in an’ read her a story ‘fore I came in,” he said. “She’s prolly asleep by now.”
“Good,” she said, nuzzling him. “Then I got you all to myself.”
“An’ what, exactly, do you plan t’ do with me now that you have me, ma’am?” He couldn’t suppress the grin that broke out on his face.
She leaned in close, her lips just short of his ear, and whispered into it. “I don’t think it’s so much what I’m gonna do t’ you, so much as it’s what I want you t’ do to me.”
“Yeah?” he asked, his own hands wandering lower down her back. “May I ask what exactly you have in mind?”
“I got some ideas,” she said, taking his hand and placing it over her breast, “if you think you’re up for it, cowboy.” She leaned in close to him and stole another kiss, longer this time, as he kneaded her breast underneath his palm. She pulled on his shirt, leading him over to the bed, and yanking him down on top of her, cloth clutched in her fists as they bounced upon impact. They hardly noticed this, as her hand trailed up his back and to his head, running her fingers through his dusty brown hair.
(Engineer stopped himself as his own hand grazed over his now smooth, bald dome. He had hair back then. Not a lot of hair, but it felt odd thinking about that now. He had shaved his head back in ’66, and had kept it shaved since then… but thinking of this was dredging up unpleasant realities, taking him away from this memory. He closed his eyes and lost himself again.)
Her own hair was soft, and he found himself running his fingers through her locks. He broke their kiss and dove onto her neck, kissing a line down the soft flesh, occasionally nipping at the skin, feeling her body tremble in anticipation. His other hand wandered down her thigh, and slipped up her nightie. He slid his fingers underneath the hem of her panties, and hooked his thumb over them. She smiled at him, and his ears flushed red despite himself.
“I ever tell you how cute you are when you get all bashful?” She smirked.
“I ain’t bashful,” Engineer protested, turning redder. “It ain’t like I haven’t done this plenty a’ times before.”
“I wouldn’t know judging by those ears,” she said. “You gonna keep goin’ or are you too embarrassed over you blushin’ like a teenager?”
It was Engineer’s turn to smirk. He yanked her panties down past her thighs, eliciting a gasp from his wife. She worked to shuck her undergarments off the rest of the way while he slid her nightie up her torso, pulling it up like a curtain revealing her smooth, alabaster complexion. So pale, he thought, his sun-darkened hand contrasting with her skin. He remembered when they first started dating and went swimming, how she slathered herself in sunblock and explained that she burned up so easily; at the end of the day she had still gone from white to pink. She used to complain about how not being able to properly tan made her feel ugly. As he pulled her nightie over her head, unveiled her breasts and put his face between them, he was hard pressed to think of anything less ugly than her.
She let out a soft laugh, and he could feel it underneath his cheek. As he slid his hand back up her thigh, he kissed her breast, making his way from the underside up to her pert, pink nipple, licking and sucking on it briefly before moving further up to her neck. She let out a satisfied hum as he did, and by the time his lips reached the underside of her jaw, his hand had made its way between her legs, fingers sliding down and searching for that one particular spot. He curled his fingers, and she let out a soft gasp. He’d found it.
“Dell,” she said, voice high and breathy.
“Yes’m?” He asked as he started circling that one spot with his fingertip.
Another gasp, this time louder, escaped her lips. She titled her head back. “I need more,” she said.
Engineer knew exactly what she meant.
He got up off of her, and she scooted farther back on the bed. Irene spread her legs, and he positioned himself between them, his head between her thighs. He kissed her soft skin, and she shuddered with anticipation. It was hard not to relish the build-up for this. Before he’d met her, he would have never thought that pleasuring a woman this way would make him as rock hard as it did. Now he felt a surge of arousal rush to his groin as he pressed his face to her muff.
He’d once overheard his teammates have a discussion on the finer points of cunnilingus. Scout had brought it up of course, asking the others about it. Soldier had thought it disgusting, Sniper had figured it was only fair if a lady was willing to give you a blowjob, Demoman agreed and Spy of course had bragged about his superior skills, working around the clitoris delicately with precise flicks of the tongue and fingers. Engineer had heard them but said nothing at the time. He knew that he wasn’t fond of Spy’s described technique. The best way to eat pussy, to put it in the common vernacular, was to dig in and eat pussy.
For him, it was like sucking the juice out of a peach, doing everything short of sinking his teeth in. He sucked, he lapped, he dug his fingers inside and curled them to touch that one particular spot that drove her wild. As he stroked and suckled her clitoris with lips and tongue, he felt his cock grow harder. Every gasp and moan she let out sent another pulse of blood to his loins. Perhaps knowing what pushed her buttons and working her over satisfied a part of him that was curious about how things worked. But learning how to make a woman come was harder than taking apart a radio or a television to see how it worked. No, it had been a lot of trial and error, experimenting with different approaches until he had determined what worked and what didn’t, until he had perfected his technique. Now her thighs were squeezing his head, his nose was full of her scent and her juices dribbled all over his tongue and his lips. There was a science to orally pleasuring a woman and Engineer considered himself to be to be a leading expert by this point.
It had only been a few minutes before her back arched and he felt a rush of fluid on his face and a contraction of her muscles around his fingers. Her thighs trembled, and the only thing keeping her from screaming was her own hand over her mouth. She gave a few weak bucks with her hips and lowered her pelvis back onto the bed, and Engineer moved his head up to kiss her just above her crown of curly, red hair. “How was that?” He asked, a smug smile on his face.
“Christ, Dell…” she breathed, putting a hand over her heart.
“You’re welcome,” he said. “Hope I didn’t wear you out completely.” His pants were now uncomfortably tight.
“No…” she said, sitting up a bit and looking down dotingly on her husband. “I think I can take some more.”
He shuddered. His cock had been pretty much neglected up to this point, and by now it was just about ready to rip out of his trousers. He stood up, took off his shirt, shed his bothersome pants and boxers, and freed his eager erection. Irene lowered her gaze onto it, and bit her lip. It did little to conceal her smile.
Her legs spread wide, and he settled himself between them, slinging her calves over his shoulders. He was shaking by now, her taste still on his lips as he ran his tongue over them. With one hand on her thigh and the other on his cock, he lined himself up, giving it a few strokes as he pressed the head between her vaginal lips and slowly, carefully pushed.
It was like sliding a hand into a tight leather glove; he felt as though she had been made by some higher power to fit around his shaft perfectly. He let out a moan as he pushed himself into the hilt. His eyes had been closed, and he opened them to meet the gaze of his wife, who let out a gasp and crossed her legs behind his back. She pulled him in closer to her, and gave him a devilish grin. He could see in her face, with her narrowed eyes and her mouth pulled into a mischievous smile that he was being challenged. Without saying a single word, he knew she was asking him, daring him to make her come again. He was more than ready to accept that challenge.
He pulled his hips back and thrust into her, hard. She gasped, and he pulled back again. He pushed back in, and pulled out, quicker this time. It was about concentration and build-up, and not allowing himself to be spent out too soon. In his mind, it was like a train starting up with the wheels slowly turning into motion. With each rotation of the wheel the speed would increase, building up gradually with each pump of the piston and each bellow of smoke. So did he build up his momentum, bucking his hips back and forth, in and out, plunging inside her wet warmth as her vaginal walls tightened around his cock. It took all his willpower not to blow his stack right there and then.
Engineer bowed his head, and he could feel his brow beading with sweat. Her gasps and moans, the feel of her legs hugging his back, the bouncing of her breasts, and the tightness of her pussy… he had to hold himself back, not be the first of them to go over the edge. She deserved better than that.
By now his hips were moving like pistons, pumping into her. He was working at full speed now, and he let out a groan as he continued to drive into that one spot. She was holding back too, milking this for all it was worth, her head tilted back as she bit her lip. That was the signal he was looking for. She wouldn’t be able to hold out that much longer.
He slowed down just enough to drive into her with force, like hammering in a railroad spike. Engineer lifted her backside up to plunge himself in deeper, and she could no longer hold herself back. Her legs quivered around him like jelly, her toes curled, her back arched and she let out a high-pitched noise that was somewhere between a squeak and a scream. He grinned, and shushed her.
“Not too loud now,” he said, his voice husky and low. “We’re almost home.”
She looked up and him and nodded breathlessly. He moved his hips again, pumping back and forth with increasing speed and let himself go, grabbing two handfuls of her ass as he embraced sweet release. He let out a bellow, sounding like a great beast, and felt the orgasm wash over him. After a few more weak thrusts, he pulled himself out and collapsed on the bed beside her.
She rolled over to snuggle against his chest, and put a hand over his heart. For a few moments, they said nothing, simply basking in the afterglow, holding each other.
“You’re amazing, Dell,” she finally said, and pecked him on the lips.
“You flatter me, pretty lady,” he said with a chuckle. “I don’t know what I did to deserve a wonderful woman like you.”
“Oh, hush,” she chided, and wrapped her arm over his chest. “You don’t have to be so modest. You put yourself down far too much.”
“Force a’ habit,” he sighed.
“I love you, Dell,” she said, nuzzling the crook of his shoulder.
“Love you too, Darlin’…”
Engineer opened his eyes. He was no longer home, but in the workshop at Teufort, stark naked and on his back with a sticky stomach. He rolled over with a grunt and grabbed some tissues from the box on his makeshift nightstand, wiping up the mess. The narrative that played out in his head was more of an amalgam of various memories and day dreams, and once they had served their purpose he was left lonely as ever.
She was, of course, the whole reason he signed the contract and got into this kooky mercenary business. There was a chance that by the time his contract was up, he’d be able to go home and she’d be well enough to be out of the hospital again. Her face would be bright with the youthful energy he remembered her for; her eyes would be sharp and free of the haze that was brought on by her sickness and the chemo. He wanted to hold her and laugh with her and banter with her and make love to her and fall asleep against her again.
He rolled over on his side, turned off the lamp on the stand beside him, and pulled his sheets up to his chest. When all of this was over, he swore that’s what he would do, he told himself. He promised.