Catch and Release Ch. 06bywilderness©
Tim sat on the dock all night, dying inside and cursing his stupidity. The very thing he tried to avoid had come to pass. Why would Eve go back? Had this been her plan all along? There were so many unanswerable questions. If only he'd been able to control himself. If only he'd kept his dick in his pants. If only he'd turned Eve over to the authorities, she'd still be here.
When sunrise brightened the eastern horizon, Tim had decided there was absolutely no one to blame but himself. Dejected and consumed by guilt, he returned to the cabin and fell onto the rumpled bed. Memories from the previous night haunted him. Suddenly nauseous, he ran to the bathroom and vomited.
After his stomach settled, Tim went back to the bedroom and buried his face in the pillow. Eve's scent lingered on the sheets. Splintered sleep, animated by nightmarish images of Eve and child, left him exhausted with a profound sense of failure. The only hope he held onto was that Eve might return. But after the fourth night, it didn't seem probable. He stopped waiting up for her.
Tim began to punish himself with daylong hikes and distant trips in his kayak. Daytime thoughts were filled with remorse, but his nights gradually returned to exhausted sleep. He made infrequent expeditions into town, to purchase necessary provisions and a lot of beer. Women still caught his eye, but the attraction was poisoned by his loss. It was as if Eve died or, more accurately, he'd been responsible for her death. As much as he wanted to blame Eve, and to hold her accountable, he could only think of her as the victim in all this. If only he could have a second chance, things would be different. Eve deserved a better life.
A month after Eve's disappearance, Tim once again drank too many beer chasers after his evening swim. It wasn't until noon the next day that he noticed a large crate at the end of the dock.
"What the hell?"
The old, weather-beaten steamer trunk was sealed tight by wrought iron hinges and a skeleton key padlock. Standing three feet high, three feet wide and five feet long, it looked perfect for hiding a body. Pasted on the top was a faded label that read 'Titanic'. Tim glanced around to see if anyone was watching, then warily turned the key and peeked inside. What he saw made him drop the lid. Once again, he looked around for any sign that he was the victim of a practical joke. But all was quiet. Tim lifted the top high enough to reach inside and pull out a stack of twenty-dollar bills.
"This can't be real."
Slowly, he thumbed through the stack and checked the dates. The bills appeared much newer than the trunk, ranging from the 1950's all the way to the 1990's. Lifting the lid again, Tim put the money back and picked up a photograph. He stared unblinking at a close-up of Eve and him, kissing. The background was out of focus. It was impossible to tell where the picture was taken, but Eve wore the red shirt he'd bought for her. This was a sign. Whether good or bad, he knew everything was about to change.
Deciding he'd better not search the trunk out in the open, Tim tried to drag the heavy chest, but only made it to the shoreline. Using a cardboard box, he started transferring its contents into the cabin's living room. It took several trips just to remove the top layer of money. The visible currency varied in denominations -- from one hundred dollar bills down to one-dollar bills. He'd have to count it to get an accurate total. The bottom half of the trunk contained documents and photographs.
When the transfer was completed, he dragged the trunk inside and placed it in front of the couch. "Nice coffee table."
Two hours later, Tim completed a cursory inspection of the paperwork and understood what the aliens had in mind. The authentic looking marriage certificate, proclaiming the legal bond between Eve Harrington and Timothy Logan, would certainly fool nearly everyone. Eve's Social Security card may even dupe the IRS. Unquestionably, the aliens knew what-was-what on earth and how to avoid detection.
Tim had misgivings about the aliens' plan. It wasn't in his best interest to be married. This sudden twist of fate damned his future. If the aliens intended to return Eve to him, they seemed to require a long-term commitment. He was not the commitment type. His first inclination was to take the money and run. The thought of burning everything that might link Eve and him, and then disappear without a trace, crossed his mind more than once.
Eventually, Tim placed everything back into the trunk, except for the photographs and five hundred dollars. He drove to the mall and bought picture frames and more clothes for Eve. Maybe in a year, she would be educated enough to make it on her own. Then they could go their separate ways and split the money, 60/40. For his trouble, he'd get the 60.
By seven o'clock, the framed kissing picture sat on the bedside table. Other cherished photographs and mementoes -- without any cherished memories -- were strewn throughout the cabin. The stage was set. The only thing missing was the leading lady.
Nervous, Tim couldn't eat, but was able to down a few beers. He swam longer than usual, draining himself of energy. By midnight, he fell asleep on a porch chair. A persistent nudging against his foot interrupted Tim's nightmare, and he awoke with a start.
Standing before him was the tall alien with Eve cradled in its tentacle arms. Eve's head lolled against its skinny, gray shoulder. She looked unconscious. The luxurious blond hair had been cut short, now only reaching to the bottom of her chin. Other than that, she looked perfect and beautiful.
Tim's heart raced. His mouth dried up. The excitement of having her back drove away any doubts he felt earlier. Quickly, he stood and took her away from it. There was a reluctant tension in the alien's release.
"Thanks, Lieutenant Data. You're doing the right thing," said Tim, while examining Eve's body to make sure she was visibly uninjured.
The alien lingered. They stared at one another. Its face was not expressive, but Tim sensed a warning or a threat. This thing definitely had an emotional attachment to Eve. The staring match ended when its hand reached out and brushed aside the hair on the left side of Eve's head to expose a three-inch scar above her ear.
"What the fuck did you do?" It sickened Tim to think her brain had been tampered with. Then suddenly, he remembered the medical records in the trunk. "Is that fake? Part of the cover-up? The phony records said she had a rock climbing accident. I remember I said that to the woman at the mall. Are you using what I said to cook up a believable explanation for her condition?"
It nodded and turned its eyes back to Eve. His long fingered hand reached out and tenderly stroked her cheek, then slipped down, and rubbed her chest for a few seconds like you'd rub a favorite dog. However, the fingers began to tease Eve's nipples, until they stood at attention. Tim watched the oddly formed hand fondle each breast in a way he recognized as sexual, and it made him jealous and aroused all at the same time. He wanted to pull her away, but was afraid such an uncooperative action would endanger her freedom. When Eve began to moan and rub her cheek against Tim's shoulder, the alien hand continued down to her stomach and made an arc in the air, representing a rounded belly, and then the bug-eyed creature shook its head 'no'.
Tim understood immediately. "Eve's not pregnant?"
Looking Tim in the eye, the alien repeated 'no', while giving him the threatening mental sensation.
"Thank God," said Tim. "Don't worry. She didn't have to get pregnant for me to take care of her." Surprisingly, he meant it.
Father-like, the alien patted Tim's shoulder and then walked away, down to the dock. Before disappearing into the mist-shrouded end, it turned for one last look, raised its hand in good-bye, and split its four fingers in the Vulcan salute.
Tim laughed. "Live long and prosper, you sick freak."
When the cloud dispersed, Tim carried Eve into the bedroom and laid her down. Against his better judgment, he stripped off his clothes and wrapped her in his arms. Her breathing was regular and peaceful against his neck. The soft comfort of her warm body felt reassuring. Tim's guilty conscience was finally comforted and he fell sound asleep for the first time in a month.
Around 8 a.m., Tim woke up refreshed. Eve had rolled away and lay on her back near the wall. That was a good sign. She was coming out of whatever drug they'd used. Her left hand rested on her stomach and, for the first time, he noticed an engagement ring and a wedding ring. These aliens were very detail oriented. From the size of the rock, they were very generous too. He was sure they'd want him to perform his role as Eve's husband to the best of his ability with the same attention to detail.
Sorely tempted, Tim thought, 'If I'm supposed to be married, I need to show my wife how much I love her.'
Sliding closer, he rested his head on his left arm and had a closer look at his refugee bride. For an arranged marriage, he'd done very well for himself. 'I could pretend this is our honeymoon. After all, according to the fake certificate, we've been falsely married less than two years.'
Tim leaned down, kissed her breast, and blew a stream of air over the damp nipple. When it became hard, he gently sucked.
Eve squirmed a little.
"Wake up, Sleeping Beauty," he whispered, and then teased the other side with his fingers.
A minute passed, before a hand rested on the back of his head and massaged his scalp. Tim increased his efforts to seduce his uncommon-law wife, letting his hand slip across her belly to tease around her sex.
"Mmm, Tim. That feels nice."
Eve's declaration, made in a complete sentence, stunned him. He rose up and looked into her sleepy blue eyes. "You talked!"
Her brow furrowed in confusion. "Well, of course I did." She grinned, arching a questioning eyebrow. "Would it turn you on more if I pretended to sleep through it all? You're not getting weird on me, are you, Honey?" Then her face clouded. "Was this a game we used to play, before the accident? I'm sorry..."
"No! Nothing like that." Tim wracked his brain for something clever to say. Apparently, she really believed the rock climbing accident actually happened. Had the aliens completely erased her memories and replaced them with... what? "You were sound asleep, I didn't think you'd wake up so quickly." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, "I just got started."
The explanation sounded reasonable, and seemed to allay her concern. "Well, don't let that stop you." Eve pulled his head back to her chest.
Tim's delight was equally divided between Eve's physical charms and her newfound intellect. The way she expressed her pleasure with whispered endearments in a sultry, hungry tone had an aphrodisiac like power. The vocal encouragement inflamed his desire to serve her, body and soul... but just her body for now.
As Eve peaked against his mouth, the high-pitched, orgasmic squeal sounded the same as before.
Kissing up her delicious contour, he thought, 'the aliens worked a miracle. What else will be different about her?'
When he reached her mouth, she kissed him sloppily, washing her essence from his face. "Mmm, I taste good on you." Gripping his cheeks, Eve gazed into his eyes. "Maybe I'm a lesbian."
Tim laughed. "Do you even know what a lesbian is?"
"Of course I do. A woman who is sexually attracted to other women."
Taken aback, he said, "Where did you learn that?"
She looked past him to the ceiling. "I don't remember. Maybe I've been watching your pornography."
"I don't have any." How does she know about porn?
"Then... maybe I've been studying the 'L' section of the dictionary, or maybe it's an old memory that's come back." She pushed him off and knelt beside his hip. "It doesn't matter where I heard about it." Looking seriously wickedly, she kissed his stomach. "The important thing is to find out if you taste as good, or better."
"Good idea," said Tim, as her soft mouth enveloped the tip of his cock.
Timidly, Eve played with him for a minute, tracing his shaft, examining his girth and vascular length. "I wish I could remember our life together -- what you liked and disliked. I only remember bits and pieces. I know we're married. I know we're lovers, but I feel inadequate, like a beginner, a virgin. It must be a great disappointment to you, to have to start all over again with me."
"That's not true at all." Tim rubbed her thigh. "We haven't known each other that long, so we really haven't had time to establish any pattern. You were a virgin. The first virgin I've ever...uh... had the privilege to..."
Laughing at her bluntness, he said, "How do you know 'fuck'?"
"Do I shock you?"
He was shocked, and a little disappointed to lose the simple child of nature that Eve embodied before. "You are a lot of fun. It would be my amazing luck to experience our beginning all over again."
"Aw, you're so sweet. That must be one of the things I loved about you." She fell on him, and kissed him.
"Loved? As in 'I used to love you, but now I'm not sure'?"
She slid down his body, saying, "How can I be sure of anything? I can't even remember what I did yesterday."
"That will change. Your memory will improve."
She stroked the base of his penis and licked the tip. "I don't know. How could I ever forget someone as yummy as you?"
"From the feel of it, you haven't forgotten the important stuff."
Eve hummed around his cock, and mumbled, "I think I like to be stuffed," then sank down and filled her mouth.
"I'm happy to oblige." In fact, her technique improved dramatically in a just few minutes. She tried to mount him, but he rolled her off.
"Not without protection."
She pouted briefly, and then bowed down to continue her oral assault. Her inquisitive mind seemed hell-bent on learning what pleased him most, and soon he was ready to fire off a one-gun salute.
"Eve, I'm... almost there."
She moaned and plunged her mouth up and down, demanding his climax. The orgasm was huge when it exploded. After a month of abstinence, the reservoir was full and his seed overflowed her lips. She laughed in surprise at the power of his spurts, pumping the last half of his ejaculate onto his stomach.
With her face coated, Eve smiled brightly, and said, "Oh, my. I bet that felt good."
"That felt... amazing."
Wiping her chin and licking her fingers, she said, "I guess I'm not a lesbian, after all. I like your taste better."
Tim grabbed some tissues and cleaned himself up. "Well, I'm relieved to hear that, because you are the most exciting woman I've ever met. I'd hate to lose you."
He threw the sodden tissue into the wastebasket and turned to face her. She looked genuinely delighted, swelling his heart with tenderness. "REALLY!" he said, knocking her back and holding her tight. "Really," he kissed her, "absolutely," he kissed her with tongue, "positively", he affirmed, finishing with a sumptuous, skin-tingling, embrace.
With eyes closed, she smiled, and said, "Gee, I'm not sure I believe you yet. Keep trying to convince me."
"Okay. It will be my pleasure."
They cuddled for a while, and then got up and made breakfast.
One thing hadn't changed -- Eve's preference to be nude. "Why do you wear those?" she asked, pulling on his boxers while he spread jam on his toast.
"I feel safer."
"But, you're not." She slipped in a hand to prove her point. "Not from me."
"In case of fire, I can run outside without sustaining a flopping injury."
"Is that even possible?"
"Not really," he said. Eve fondled his balls, and it made him wonder, "Hey, do you want some eggs?"
"Let me make them," she said, removing her hand to open the refrigerator. "Why aren't you wearing your wedding ring?"
Oops. He hadn't thought of that. "I lost it... swimming. You don't remember?"
"No." She cracked the eggs into the frying pan. "We should spend some of our loot to replace it."
"Yeah, in the trunk. Did you think I'd forgotten about it?" The eggs sizzled and splattered. "Ow!"
"You'd better put on a shirt, before you get burned and I have to rub butter on your boobs."
"Funny, but don't change the subject. Besides, I'd like that. The butter-massage part, anyway." She backed up an arm and spatula's length away.
"What do you remember about the money? This may be a breakthrough." Tim poured juice and coffee, and sat down at the table, wondering, 'what did those alien bastards put in her head?'
Eve was silent for a while. "I remember we were on our honeymoon. We were hiking in Oregon and found a parachute. Under the chute there was a skeleton and a backpack filled with money." She brought the pan over to the table and slid the scrambled eggs onto the plates. "You said we'd found D. B. Cooper and his ransom money."
Tim thought, 'Those alien bastards.' Aloud, he said, "You're mistaken."
"I am?" After a thoughtful moment, she asked, "Then... where did it come from?"
A suitable lie didn't come to mind, so the truth was the next best thing. "Aliens." Those bastards. "You were abducted by aliens and they've brought you back to release you into the wilderness."
She laughed, but he stared at her in all seriousness.
"Shut up." Eve stared back at him. After pondering the comment for a while, she asked, "Are you trying to make me crazy?"
That hurt. "Why would I do that?"
Pointing an accusing fork, she declared, "You want the money all for yourself. In fact, I bet you pushed me off the cliff." Something clicked in her head, and she added, "You tried to drown me too! I remember!"
"Did not! You fell in, and I pulled you out." Furious, Tim said, "It's those alien bastards! They've planted all this shit in your brain. They've altered your memory. They want you to forget what they did you." The truth sounded worse than any lie.
"Then how come you remember them?" Eve jumped up, knocking over her chair. "Don't treat me like a fool," she said, and walked out.
Tim cleaned up the kitchen and then looked for Eve. She was dressed and sitting in the living room, reading the papers from inside the trunk.
"Are you saying none of this is true?"
The truth shall set you free. "Yes, that's what I'm saying."
Taking off her rings, she said, "Then I guess we're not really married and you're just using me."
Using her? Alien bastards! "I'm taking care of you, until you can take care of yourself."
"Don't patronize me!" She began to divide the money. "Take me to town, so I can start taking care of myself."
"Hey, I don't need this shit! Take all the fucking money. I don't want it. If you can handle it on your own, then fine with me."
"Fine." Tears rolled down Eve's cheeks. "I need to pack."
Tim brought out a suitcase. "Here. Keep it."
After filling half the suitcase with documents and money, she carried it to the bedroom and packed her clothes. "This stuff is all new."
"Yeah, I just bought it for you, because I knew you were coming back. The aliens kept you naked like a damn pet. They grabbed you from an airplane crash when you were a baby. No one missed you."
"Shut up about the aliens!" Angrily, she lifted the suitcase, refusing to let him carry it out.
Tim shut up, about everything. But his head pounded, as they drove silently to the town of Anvil.
Eve pointed at a motel on the edge of town. "Drop me off over there."
A sudden wave of fear made him cringe. He worried about Eve's safety. At least the aliens had cared for her. Unscrupulous humans would not be so compassionate. "No, I won't."
She yelled, "What do you mean, 'No'?" her eyes narrowed with contempt.