bySean Renaud©

There was a storm brewing on the distant horizon growing closer with every chill wind. Jason stood at the door to his home watching the dark grey clouds churning themselves into a fury that would be unleashed by night fall if not sooner. It was the third powerful storm in as many weeks, a situation that could only be considered freakish by southern California standards. The last storm to tear through Los Angeles was close to the borders of insanity as far as Jason was concerned. The rain had cascaded down in steady sheets so thick that the hand in front of your face was invisible. This coming storm seemed to have all of the strength that one had and despite the news was claiming this one seemed particularly angry.

Normally Jason was the kind of person to ascribe human characteristics to things. Anthropomorphizing was for children and writers. Maybe it was the fact that he'd watched too many sci-fi movies since he'd been trapped in doors for days at a time but it seemed like the storms had certain intelligence to them. The places that could handle the rain weren't getting it, and the freshly burned country side was being battered until mudslides cut power for thousands.

Jason wanted to stand in the doorway and stare down the maelstrom. As silly as it sounded he wanted to face down the monster coming to threaten him and his home. Even if he couldn't do anything to stymie the rage preparing to deluge his home it would give him a sense of satisfaction to know that he tried. Instead he did something that might actually make a difference and shoveled sandbags into a wall at the backside of his house guiding the water around his home and down to the street. Jason had spent the morning helping his neighbors do the same thing hoping to guide the water harmlessly around valuables.

The sky continued to darken as the clouds made their intentions clear. Before attempting to drown the men and women of Riverside the storm decided to fire off a warning shot that lit the sky and thundered through the homes. It was quickly followed by several more explosions that secured Jason's fear that this wasn't a natural storm. This was a conscious being doing its best to frighten its victims into submission before starting the fight.

After fifteen minutes of echoing bluster the storm decided it was time to move onward. It was like a seam had been cut in the heavens. Every drop in the sky erupted from its slit open bladder and pounded the poor earth bound fools to their knees. The sound was nearly as loud as the thunder had been and instead of sudden shouts it was a constant assault. Jason stood near a window watching the road outside turn to a rapidly flowing river. Mud and debris flowed down stream where it would gather in the local park destroying a few of the wood benches in the process while Jason could only watch helplessly.

Jason wasn't certain if he was holding a vigil or a wake as the debris grew in size. It wasn't just floating sticks and mud after the first hour of the torrential downpour. There were two drown dogs and what Jason thought was a possum but it was far away and dark, it could have been a rat or a cat. He wasn't really certain what the difference between a possum and an opossum was either. Roofing shingles rode the waves down along with bushes and smaller trees up rooted by the relentless wind. So far the sand bags had held well diverting the worst of the flow away from the homes.

A bolt of lightning exploded through the sky and that was the end of electricity on Wilshire Avenue. A few street lights exploded but most people had already made that consensus to the storm shutting down any electronic that plugged into the wall. In the darkness it seemed absurd to keep staring out the windows occasionally checking on the backyard ready to add more sandbags or rush to a neighbor's aid at the slightest hint of trouble. Candlelight had already been flickering in Jason's home.

A second bolt of lightning revealed her. He wasn't even certain what he was looking at was alive. He had to wait for a second blast to illuminate the darkness before he was certain about what he was seeing. There was a woman. The water wasn't deep enough to swim in, it more like flailing hoping to find something to grab onto. If Jason had taken even a moment to think about what he was doing things would have turned out differently. The stupidest thing he could do was charge out into the blinding storm and get himself drown as well as the young lady. Even if he'd still found his courage the split second of indecision would have been longer than she could last.

Throwing the door open Jason charged out his front door and promptly tripped on the slick concrete skinning his chin at the same time. He scrambled back to his feet shouting, "I'm coming hold on!" At the top of his lungs. There was no way she could hear him over the rain, he could barely hear himself and just a few steps from his house and he was certain he'd drown standing up. The rain was intense enough to bounce off the concrete and back into his face. It was impossible to get back to his feet beneath the pounding fists of the rain so he stayed on all fours like a beast and continued to the street. Pulling himself into the bed of a neighbor's pick up he shaded his eyes and searched for the woman.

Just the few seconds it had taken Jason to sprint from his home to the street the waters had managed to carry her more than half the length of the block and every water logged breath he choked into his lungs let her slip farther away. Still running on pure instinct Jason leapt from the truck bed intentionally landing on his backside half swimming half sliding down the street waving his arms and shouting to get her attention. He knew that time wasn't on his side; there was more to it than just him getting to her fast enough. She had to know that someone was coming, that it was going to be alright. Without that she might just give in like Derrick had.

The water was deep and fast enough that Jason only got a few bruises slaloming down hill with only his jeans to protect him. The woman was fading fast when he got within reach. She'd stopped pulling herself from the water from desire, it was only instinct that raised her pink haired head up to notice her rescuer and even then she didn't renew the fight. She let her head slump back beneath the water. "No!" Jason grabbed her by the hair wishing there was a kinder way to haul her head above water but there wasn't. Holding her with one hand he grabbed the wheel well of a nearby car and let it sling shot their bodies into the relatively protected spot in front of it. Anchoring himself against the car he threw the limp female form into a fireman's carry and started back up the hill.

In the near complete darkness and blinding rain Jason didn't recognize his street. It was just instinct that carried him on. Any other time he would have been certain that he could find his way home from the mail box in the dark but the rain proved that to be little more than masculine boasts. The truth was he was lead home by two things that stood out about his home. The first was something he swore he'd do for the rest of his life when he left home. Leave a candle burning. The other was his door slamming against the wall loud enough to be heard even over the violent storm.

Jason dropped the girl onto his soaked carpet and turned his aching muscles towards one last Herculean task. Shutting the door. It was the kind of thing that he'd never thought twice about. He'd never had to struggle to close a door before but this one was being wrested open by hundred mile and hour winds and greased by one thousand gallons per second rain. Jason hadn't screamed since he was thirteen but there was no other word to describe the pained screech that tore free of his contorted face during the final seconds of his battle.

"Shit." He grumbled collapsing to his knees. Slumping to all fours he voided his stomach of swallowed rain and sludge. In California the rain had a nasty habit of scrubbing a year worth of crud from the streets and Jason could taste every bit of it. "You okay?" He finally remembered why he'd gone out into that hell and turned to face the pink haired girl.

Some combination of the storm, the street and Jason had completely shredded her clothing leaving only a few misplaced spots of mild modesty for her. She wasn't moving when he turned toward her and her skin was blue. Jason grabbed her by the arm and immediately pulled his hand away. She wasn't cold. She wasn't hot either. There wasn't a word in Jason's vocabulary to properly describe her. The closest he could approach was she buzzed. How he hadn't noticed before even in the driving rain was odd. Then she twitched. A sharp inhuman twisting of her spine that allowed her shoulders to nearly align with her ankles. If Jason had had any energy at all he would have moved away but he was too exhausted to do anything but morbidly watch. The woman's entire body contorted snapping loudly until her eyes opened and she gasped for air.

Her eyes were unlike anything Jason had ever seen. Bright gold with silver cat like irises that started as narrow slits but quickly expanded to the darkness. Silently her gaze turned toward him and her body relaxed slightly. "You are bleeding." She whispered. The blue skinned pink haired woman moved to her knees and crawled towards Jason. Still exhausted Jason didn't move away when she reached out and brushed her fingers against his cheek to inspect him.

Firmly she pushed his head to the side canting her own to watch the blood flowing from his scrapped chin. "You're not human." Jason more mouthed than spoke. He was mildly aware of the pain from his scrapped chin, his hands were in similar shape but the aches of his back and shoulders easily overshadowed the mild sting. The shock of a blue skinned pink haired maiden made all his physical sensations fall by the wayside.

"You are also not human." She responded so completely matter of factly that it left no room for debate. An argument over his inherent humanity should have followed. Nothing else should have crossed his mind but the first thoughts, the only thoughts in his head were how beautiful she was. Her soft blue skin was covered, particularly around her cheeks and shoulders in darker blue almost purple freckles. "You are kind." She brushed her fingers across his chin and the pain faded away. "Why did you come to my aid?" Jason couldn't quite draw his attention away from the way her mouth curled around every letter that passed through it.

"I had to. You were in trouble." Jason answered. He was more than slightly hypnotized by her. There was a rising fear that the hypnosis was genuine and not imagined but there wasn't a thing that he could do to push down the feeling. She was simply the most incredibly gorgeous creature he'd ever laid eyes upon. "What are you? You aren't human." Coherent thought was still a little ways off for him.

"Why does this bother you Jizongen? You are less human than I yet I sense distress in your voice over my lack of humanity." She looked down over herself and smiled slightly. "Do you find my body displeasing?" The alien tore the rest of her clothing away. It wasn't covering anything vital anymore anyway. "Is it because I am unattractive that you are disquieted?" She rose to her feet stretching out languidly like a great cat.

"You're beautiful." Jason responded. He still didn't quite have the strength needed to rise to his feet. There was enough left in him to sneeze though. "I need to get out of these wet clothes." He managed. Even in his own mind he wasn't certain if he'd meant that as a come on or not. It was a fact whether he was looking at his health or her body that he needed to strip.

"This is fact." The pink haired woman gripped Jason's collar with both hands and tore his wet clothing away with almost no effort. "Do you possess the means to warm us?" The woman asked tilting her head slightly as she posed the question. Her arms crossed over her smallish breasts and shivered slightly. "The temperature here is uncomfortably low." It took Jason a moment to process her words. He was still in the process of catching up with the world but he walked over to his fire place and tossed in a few of the fake logs he kept and lit the fire. "Thank you Jizongen."

Jason shivered and scooted closer to the flame as did the pink haired woman. "Okay enough of that. Who are you, what are you and why do you keep calling me Jiz Gen?" Jason chattered unable to keep his shivers out of his speech scooting closer to the fire.

"Because you are a Jizongen. Human you are not. Have you never wondered why you are warm?" She reached out and touched her fingers gently to his chest tracing the lines of his abs. Even just the tips of her fingers were enough to send tiny jolts of her trembling energy through him. "Or why you hear stars?"

Just as Jason parted his lips to answer he heard sound like a gunshot and felt the house tremble. Bricks, wood and water suddenly rushed down what had been a chimney seconds before and started flooding the living room. "Shit!" Jason leapt to his feet yanking the woman to her feet as well. First he tried the kitchen but the same shot that had destroyed his chimney had also shattered the glass sliding door and mud was starting to build in the kitchen. Still dragging her he stepped into the bathroom. It had no windows and was a close to the center of the house as possible. Stepping inside he shut the door behind them and stuffed towels beneath the door to keep the water out. The extra towels he used to line the bathtub.

He hadn't noticed how terrified she was until he felt her arms clamping down around his neck. Her face was buried in his chest while great sobs racked her petite frame. "Shh. It's okay." He rocked her gently trying to convince himself of the lie he was telling her. He couldn't see well almost at all. The bathroom was lit by a scented candle that put off almost no light of its own. In the flickering flame light he could only see that she was trembling. "It's okay."

She leaned up to him and pressed her lips desperately to his. For a moment he started to pull away but he couldn't. She made his body hum in a way he couldn't properly describe. The tough guy act he was putting on was still just an act and as bit by bit the storm tore down the physical defenses of his home it was doing the same the emotional ramparts of his soul. He needed her as badly as she needed him and he poured that emotion into his kiss. Everywhere that his flesh touched hers burned deliciously. "Jizongen." She whispered breaking the kiss for a brief moment. Jason's only response was pressing his lips back to hers.

Life and death situations are supposed to trigger certain emotions in humans. The adrenaline, the desire to survive, the fear. It overwhelms any rational thought and leaves behind a feeling. There was nothing conscious in either of them when she threw her legs over his waist and sank her body down onto his. Her lavender gaze locked onto his penetrating him to the core. It was every bit as invasive and tangible as his own flesh pushed into her. He could feel it ebb and flow in pace with the fluid rocking of her hips.

Jason was in a trance, the same as she was. He didn't want to bring his hands up to palm her breasts. It happened and he became aware of it only when she arched her back and whimpered her approval. No part of him thought of wrapping his lips around her turquoise nipples, it was her hands that guided him there. Greedy lips needy for approval took action without permission.

There were words passing between the two. Names. Expressions. Instructions. Desires. Needs. They would have been unintelligible to any observer but the two understood each other perfectly. The words were unnecessary to their communication. Jason could feel what she wanted through her thrumming fingertips and heated skin. She desire she had for him went beyond any mere want. It was a need that drove through her quaking body. It was a prime directive that synchronized their hearts into a single pulsing rhythm.

She was glowing. At first Jason thought he was imagining the light that started with her chest and expanded out like a human blush. In Jason's life no woman had ever put off enough heat for him to feel it let alone fear it. The cold from outside was so strong that he pulled her body close basking in her warmth. If the world wasn't frozen around them he would have pulled away but as it was her inferno might be the only thing keeping him alive. Staying inside her was a matter of survival. She made that clear when she clamped her thighs down around his midsection locking him in place. The heat nearly singed his flesh before it returned to normal.

The two lovers remained entangled in each other embrace inhaling the vital life force they were both putting off. "I still don't know your name."

"You will not know my name Jizongen. I will be gone when the storm passes. Enjoy what you have, while you have it." Those were the last words the two shared.

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