Excerpt: Cosmic

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“You know that colour really suits you,” Snake said, referring to the short red number she had purchased earlier that day.

Sela glanced at him, resisting an urge to flick her fingers under his nose to remind him that her face was at least several inches above his line of vision. Instead, she breathed in deeply and drew attention to her breasts even more. The red dress had a plunging neckline. He would be so easy to tease that she almost felt sorry for him, but she had decided not to tease him…too much, so he was relatively safe.

He had joined her on the dance floor, and those slim hips knew how to move. The lights suddenly dimmed, and the music took on a thudding beat. It should have seemed odd, but they moved closer together without either of them apparently being conscious of it. By the time Sela gave it a passing thought, the rhythm began to take her. The beat and Snake’s movements became conspirators. She moved with him, only dimly aware of her body. Closing her eyes, raising her hands, she gave herself to the music, and as Snake’s hand came to rest on her hip, she allowed him to lead her into a wilder phase of the dance.

Her head had fallen back, but now she drew her chin forward, opening her eyes. The first thing she saw was that glittering green gaze. He had removed the visor. Her consternation must have shown on her face. Snake shook his head slightly, drawing their faces closer together so he could talk to her without shouting.

“Look at me. See me. I know you can.”

His words contained a strange resonance that spoke to something inside her. She caught his meaning almost like a taste on her tongue. As he led her deeper into the dance and their bodies swayed, her mind sank beneath the surface. She became the music, moving as it and Snake dictated. Even though the beat made her heart pound, her sex and other things throb, even though their hips and groins brushed and she could feel his rigidity, as sexual as this was, it was also something else. Words such as “basic” and “primordial” rose up in her mind. So did more intriguing thoughts of sex. A slight gap in Snake’s tunic caused pale honey skin to flash at her. A fine line of hair wended its way up in a straight line on his belly. She needed to know if it was as soft as it looked. Her fingers reached out and brushed over his skin without thinking. When he shuddered, she did it again, and then allowed her hand to spread out to take hold of his right hip just as he had hold of hers with one hand, while the fingers of the other hand continued to touch bare skin. That connection gave her a taste of his loneliness. Sela didn’t understand it, or know how, but she felt it; his feelings shouted in her head, as an echo of her own lonesomeness. The months spent alone on Sarras hadn’t left her as completely as she had hoped. She gasped and pulled back, swaying, but rather than let her stumble away, Snake’s arms drew her to him.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, right next to her ear, his head against hers, strands of their hair mingling and their bodies close. “Sometimes people can pick up on what I’m feeling.”

“You feel…lonely?” Sela bit her tongue even as she finished speaking, literally; she pressed the sharpness of her teeth into the fleshy pad of her tongue.

“You can…sense that?” He sounded as bewildered as she felt.

She nodded against him, and when he took her to edge of the dance floor, she went without resisting.


Snake knew to dance with Sela that way in front of Axel was a mistake, but it wasn’t as if Axel wanted to dance with him. Enough mixed couples danced, in both sexual orientation and race, for no one to care, but Axel couldn’t even love him in private. No way did Snake ever expect Axel to love him in public. He owed Axel nothing. Perhaps he should remember that. He didn’t even prefer men. Being with another male was just something his race took for granted. What humans termed a ménage, his kind took as a given. Two men with one woman was the way of his race. He needed more than… He didn’t know what to call what he did with Axel, but the term relationship would suffice. He needed more than his relationship with Axel provided. Being as his own kind were so scattered throughout the universe, Axel was the only male he’d ever been with and, as far as he was aware, he was the first and only male with whom Axel had chosen to have sex. That should have made Snake feel special, but it didn’t. He knew better than that. Sex didn’t have to have any emotion attached to the act. For many, sex was purely physical. The way he and Axel…

Sigh for me, Snake. Let it out. Let me hear you.

Words whispered in the darkness returned to haunt him. Snake shivered at the memory, and that being one of the calmer recollections he could summon to mind, but he couldn’t let such tantalising moments of lust sway him. What they shared was simply an indulgence on Axel’s part, where in time Snake had come to… What? To love Axel? That idea drew forth more despondency than the idea of being lonely. Well, maybe he didn’t have to be.

© Sharon Maria Bidwell, all rights reserved.

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