THE ADVENTURES OF TAM DENEHY:
Tam was certain that he would never see Talia again. But sometimes life can spring a surprise on a person, just when he least expects it. Emon picked his son up from school one afternoon, telling him that they were meeting someone at the space-port. On the way, at Tam's insistence, he told him who it was: “Your uncle Pyrder is going to be staying with us for a few days, and Shael is coming with him.”
Shael was Tam's favourite cousin, and the prospect of the visit really excited him. But something happened at the space-port that even eclipsed that. The port was jam-packed full of travellers, and at times it was difficult to pick one's way through the bustling crowd. As Tam and his father were about to use the elevator to the level above them, the young boy heard a familiar voice call his name. He turned, and at first did not recognise the young girl who stood some distance from him. She wore a hood that concealed all but her face, and only when she drew nearer did he realise who it was. It was Talia!
As he rushed towards her, he was stopped by another Sylvan. The she-elf exclaimed: “Nae Naladris! He is my friend. This is the boy of whom I spoke. This is Tamros.”
The Sylvan backed off slowly, and then smiled, bowing his head. “Please excuse my haste.” He apologised, “ My stepdaughter's safety was my only concern.”
“I understand sir.” Tam responded.
“Tam, this is my Guardian, Nylian.” Talia introduced, “Alas my father's death caused my dear mother too much suffering. I was told she had died of a broken heart. Nylian is my father's brother, and it is customary that an orphan be adopted by the father's oldest male relative.”
“I am sorry. I didn't know your mother, but you told me so much about her.” Tam stammered. Just then Emon appeared, and the boy introduced him to Talia and her family: “Dad - This is the girl I told you about.” He almost said 'she-elf', but remembered just in time that he had sworn never to reveal her true identity, “The one I met at the camp site.”
“Ah - yes.” His father responded with a nod that made Tam think that perhaps he had guessed his secret. “Well I am very glad to meet you and your family.” He added honestly, “Now we must go. We're expecting one of Tam's relatives. I'm sorry our meeting was so short.”
“As am I.” Replied Nylian, “Alas we must go too. Our transport awaits. Farewell to the both of you.”
“Good bye Tam.” Talia said sadly, hugging him, “Mayhap we will see each other again.”
Tam bade both of them farewell, and watched them as they headed towards the terminal where the private transports docked. Then Emon tugged at his hand. “Come on son.” He said softly, “We can't keep uncle Pyrder and your cousin waiting.”
As he and his father turned to leave, Tam looked back to catch what he thought would certainly be the last sight of the she-elf who had become his closest friend in the short time that they were together. Even though he was very glad to see his uncle, and especially his cousin again, it was the brief reunion with Talia that made it all the more special.
During Shael's visit, Tam told her about Talia, and dared to mention that she was Sylvan. This was because his uncle, like his father, were liberal in their views on Sylvan rights, and against the way in which the authorities had discriminated against them. This was strengthened by the recent find near the ruins where Tam and Talia had first met.
One day, during 'Prep' - a period in which students were encouraged to do some of their homework - the teacher supervising the pupils caught Tam sketching a portrait. Tam was a gifted art student, among his other talents, and had won prizes for his sketches. Thus, under normal circumstances, there would have been no issue with him practising during this time. However, when the teacher saw that he was drawing the portrait of a she-elf, he immediately confiscated the work, and ordered him to accompany him to the headmaster's office. Although he was not punished, Tam was severely reprimanded, and warned that he would not get off so lightly if he was ever caught drawing such 'filth' again. Not that there was anything lewd or provocative about the picture. Such was the extent of the prejudice against the Sylvan.
From that day on, Tam never said a word to anyone about his friendship with Talia, or his feelings toward the Sylvan, for the rest of his years at school. This was because any alleged dealings with a Sylvan were frowned upon, and could even land one in deep trouble with the law. For Tam, however, his silence would prevent any of the other kids at school from teasing him. As has been said, he did not have many friends, and he wished to protect those close to him as well from being picked on, especially because of him. But in the times that he was alone, his mind often drifted back to the day when they met, and sometimes he actually dreamt that they were together again. When he woke up from the dream, he would feel a strange emptiness inside of him.
As was customary, when Tam had finished high school, he joined the military. His Commanding Officer during basic training was a veteran named Commodore Seth Himear. Almost from the word go, Tam had nothing but the utmost respect for the officer. This he shared with almost all the other members of Sierra Company. It was obligatory to complete 'basics', but thereafter one could choose which direction one wished to follow from there.
From his mother's side, Tam had developed a keen interest in medicine, whereas he had inherited his father's passion for exploration and adventure. His ambition was to combine both. Basic training was tough, both physically and psychologically, and the only thing that kept Tam together was that it only lasted six months. Nearing the end of this period, he would then be called in and asked as to which section he would like to specialise. After that came the passing-out parade, that would spell the end of his intake's time as 'Recruits', and herald the final stage before they would be able to take out official citizenship. After 'Second Phase' training, these young men and women would have to fulfil a year of service before they were eligible to leave if they so desired. Of course, they were welcome to stay on.
Tam waited outside Commodore Himear's office. Inside, accompanying his Commanding Officer, were the other members of the Review Board. Tam was very nervous! Not only was this his opportunity to take the next step in his desired career, but he would also find out whether he had succeeded in passing his basic training. Throughout the first six months, he had undergone a number of physical tests in order to ascertain whether he was fit enough. There were also psychological examinations, and other exams to test his mental abilities. During this time, he was never informed whether he had passed these tests or not.
As he stood there in the foyer, the other seventy young recruits - of both sexes - lining up with him, his stomach felt as though it was filled with rocks. His turn drew nearer and nearer, and he could feel the sweat breaking out on his brow. More than once, he had to run to the bathroom before he shit himself. He remembered the breathing exercise he had been taught, and tried to calm himself down with it. It worked to a certain extent. At least his stomach settled down somewhat.
Tam was next! While he was waiting to be called in, he held his head in his hands, still breathing slowly. He was concentrating so hard on calming down that he was startled when a loud female voice shouted from above him: “Recruit Denehy! Denehy - on your feet recruit!”
He jumped off the bench on which he sat, and quickly came to attention. Lieutenant Aranthi stood in front of him. If it were not for her almost expressionless face, the woman might have been quite attractive. Instead she was very intimidating, and more than a little scary.
“Yes Lieutenant!” He bawled back, as was expected when commanded by an officer.
She said in a quieter, almost friendly voice: “At ease soldier. Your turn is almost up, so be alert.”
“Yes ma'am.” Came the reply.
A short time later, the young woman that had gone before the board in front of him exited the room. It was forbidden to ask whether the other recruits had made it until the whole of one's unit had been evaluated.
Lieutenant Aranthi appeared again. She ordered: “Recruit! Recruit - attention! Forward march!”
Tam obeyed instinctively. By this time he reacted to such commands without even thinking about them. He came to a halt some three paces from the desk behind which sat the members of the Review Board. He saluted the officers, and stated his rank and name.
An elderly woman, wearing numerous medals and ribbons, said in a voice almost too deep to be female: “Take a seat Recruit.”
“Thank-you ma'am.” Tam replied, and sat down.
A long silence followed that almost made his skin crawl. At last the woman, who was a General, spoke again, this time in a tone that could almost be called affable. She said: “Recruit Denehy. On behalf of the Nouthesian Defence Force, we congratulate you on the successful completion of your first phase of military training.”
Tam's face fell, and if it were not for the fact that he was already sitting, he would have fallen over.
Commodore Himear was next to speak: “I knew that you would make it, young man. On the outside, you seem to be soft hearted, a real 'Nice Guy'. But I sensed a strength and endurance in you that would see you through until this day. Some of those who doubted you were in for a surprise when they came before us, and not a pleasant one at that. Well done!”
“Thank-you sir.” Tam responded, trying to fight back the tears and a lump that was forming in his throat, “But I couldn't have done it without your support.”
The Commodore only smiled in reaction, and then continued: “Have you decided what you want to do next?”
“Yes sir.” Tam said, “I have sir.”
The third member of the Board spoke. He was a stocky man with a figure that made him look as though he was as broad as he was tall. His voice was deep and gravelly. He asked: “And what is that?”
Tam answered the major: “Sir, I would like to enter the Medical Corps, and become an operational medic.”
The three members looked at one another, and then back at Tam. The General spoke again, saying: “Very well Denehy. Your application will be submitted. You will know before you go on leave whether you have been accepted. That will be all.”
Tam stood up, saluted again, did an about-turn, and marched out of the room. He opened the door, and headed off down the passage to the exit at the opposite end to where they had come in before. His legs still felt a bit like jelly, but the knot in his gut was one of joy rather than nerves, although there was still some reservations as to whether his request to join the Medics would be successful or not.
Once all the other Recruits had finished with the Review Board, they discovered that all but three of their intake had been promoted, and could now call themselves 'Troopers'. As the Commodore had told Tam, one of those that didn't make it was a particularly nasty piece of work by the name of William Nalka. He had once told Tam that he should 'rather get a desk job', because he would never make it in the army. It seemed strange how the tables had turned. The other was denied promotion for health reasons. It was discovered that his reaction to high-stress situations was something close to the paralysis that many people are afflicted with when they are afraid. In a combat situation, such inability to act or think on one's feet would be fatal, both to the individual and his comrades.
The last one who did not pass was a real tragedy: It was a young woman, about the same age as Tam. Her name was Tarya. She was tough and resourceful, coping with even the most stressful and demanding of tests. Everyone knew, that not only would she pass, but was capable of excelling. But then something happened that no-one could have anticipated: Her parents and her younger brother were travelling home, after enjoying the evening out, when they were involved in an accident that cost all three of them their lives. Tarya fell apart after hearing about the accident, and although she was obliged to stay on till the end, she could not participate in any of the exercises. This meant that her failure was a foregone conclusion.
“Those fucking bastards!” Yelled Nalka, “They are wrong! I should have made it. I was the strongest! I came first in all the fitness exercises, and no-one could beat me in the two-four. Fucking brass assed bastards!”
Just as he had finished ranting, Commodore Himear exited the building, and overheard him. He approached the still cursing young man, and said softly and calmly: “You don't get it, do you? You didn't from the start: Basic Training is aimed to teach you teamwork. You might be the toughest individually, but you think you're better than anyone else. You never thought, not for one moment, about your comrades. Combat takes co-operation young man, not individual heroics. Something you seem to be incapable of. That is why you failed. And, by the way, you still have some spit running down your cheek. Better wipe it off before someone sees it.” To the rest of the group, who stood at attention while he spoke, he said: “Carry on Troopers!”
As the officer turned and walked away, Tam and the others could see a change in Nalka's attitude. Although it was obvious that he was still seething, the expression on his face was one of realisation rather than anger. Perhaps it had dawned on him that it was he who was responsible for his predicament, and no-one else. One of the other Troopers came up and offered him a smoke. He managed a wry smile, and took it from the box.
“Thanks Morrison.” He said. Ironically, the only person who had been on the receiving end of Nalka's sharp tongue more than Tam was Ken Morrison. Trooper Morrison was the shortest of the members of Tam's intake. Despite his stature, he proved to be strong enough to handle even the toughest of challenges. He had almost inexhaustible determination and endurance. Although he was always doubting himself, his team mates knew that he would make it. In fact, Ken Morrison was the first to be promoted to Petty Officer, and made his career in the armed forces.
Nalka, on the other hand, was well-built, and seemed tough on the outside, but he came from a home that had mollycoddled him, as well as treating him as though he was the best at everything, all his life. In the face of a real challenge, he would often shy away. Being an only child, he had never learned to interact with others, and had thus no experience in the art of teamwork. Even though he might have been successful in other careers, the military was obviously not for him.
The morning before the Passing-Out Parade, Tam was called to the Commodore's office once more. Guessing the reason, the Trooper was more than a little nervous, a feeling the was greatly intensified when he entered the room, and saw an elderly man sitting next to his Commanding Officer. He had a stern face, and wore the pale grey uniform of the Medical Corps.
Tam was told to be seated. Commodore Himear introduced the other man, saying: “Trooper Denehy, this is Brigadier Adrashtal. He is the commander of the Medical Corps.”
Tam stood up again, saluted, and shook the Brigadier's hand. “It is an honour to meet you Brigadier.”
The officer smiled, and replied: “The pleasure is mine Trooper. Your Commanding Officer has told me good things about you. And now he informs me that you want to join us.”
To which Tam responded: “That's right sir.”
“Why do you think that it is right for you?” Brigadier Adrashtal asked, “It's a far cry from the rest of the army.”
Tam told him briefly about his background, as well as his aspirations. The officer listened intently, nodding every now and then. There was a moment's silence that made Tam's skin crawl with anticipation. At last the Brigadier spoke again. He stated: “Well young man. I would like to be the first to welcome you aboard, so to speak. If you succeed with your initial training, you will be given the rank of Non-Commissioned Officer, although your official title will be 'Orderly'. After that you will either be assigned to a ship as a ship's medic or to a platoon as field medic. What happens after that, well, you will be briefed when the time comes. When you come back from leave, report to our training base to begin your training.”
Tam's face beamed as he stood up, shook Brigadier Adrashtal's hand, as well as that of his now former Commanding Officer. With a salute, he did an about-turn, and marched out of the office for the last time. His heart was filled with an invigorating mix of relief, pride, and anticipation.
The following day was the Parade. All of the new Troopers were in their squads as they marched onto the parade ground. Behind them a military band played, and all the troops were proudly dressed in their 'Step-Outs', an outfit that each one of them had received just after their graduation. On their berets, they wore a badge just below the unit emblem. This too indicated that they were no longer mere Recruits. Already in formation on the parade ground were the new Recruits, or 'Rookies', that were still undergoing Basic Training.
The five units, in ranks of three, and made up of roughly thirty Troopers, marched until they were lined up in front of the stands and the podium. As they passed them, the members of the new intakes came to attention, and saluted them. Likewise, as the older units passed where the visitors and ranks were standing, their squad commanders ordered: “Eyes Right!” and gave their respects with sharp salutes of their own. Once the 'Honour Units' - as they were called - were in place, the proceedings began.
The atmosphere was tense, and the heat of the day unforgiving as it bore down onto the asphalt square. One of the soldiers from another platoon fainted from the heat, and was carried off the ground by the medics who were on stand-by. The rest of them stood there, eyes slightly shut in order to shield themselves from the sun, throat parched and lips dry. It was only pride and training that made them endure what the weather put them through. Pride because they knew that their families and loved ones were on the stands watching them. Every now and then, a slight breeze would blow, offering a short reprieve from the sweltering heat.
At last the unit Commander ordered them to attention, and the band began to play again. In columns of three, the platoons began to move, marching passed the podium. On either side of this, the newly appointed officers stood, Petty Officer Morrison amongst them. Those who marched passed saluted them, and they saluted back.
There was great excitement in the waiting area, where those who were part of the parade would meet the ones who had come to see them. But with the relief and jubilation, there was also a sense of sorrow, as comrades who had gone through thick and thin together realised that they may never see one another again. It was somewhat like the last day of school, when one is aware that all of one's classmates, some of them one has known for many years, are going off in different directions, not knowing when, or even if, they will be in contact again.
Soon however, Tam was caught up in seeing his parents once more. Both of them expressed their admiration for their son, and congratulated him for his achievements. And then it was time to say those last good-byes to his erstwhile colleagues, after which he went home for some well-earned and appreciated leave.
When he returned to base, he immediately began his training in the Medical Corps. The duration of the course was also six months, and although not quite as demanding physically, it was still tough going. As was to be expected, the standards were very high, and at the end of the first two months, the intake were examined up until that point. If anyone failed once, they were allowed to sit the exams again, with the understanding that there was only one chance to repeat. The pass mark was ninety percent for all examinations. By the end of the first two months' exams, four out of the fifteen trainees in Tam's class failed. This meant that they would only be able to take the course again after six months if they were still interested.
The next two months were even tougher than the first, and by the time the exams came around, some of the pupils had chosen to drop out. More left after the exam period was over. Some of them had repeated some of the exams the first time, and passed, only to fail a second time, after which there was no option but to leave.
The final two months were by far the most gruelling. However, most of the intake that remained were determined to stay the course. After all, they had made it thus far, and the end was in sight. Most of those who remained were also team players. When the going was tough, they encouraged and motivated one another to hang in there. They called themselves the 'Survivors'.
At last the exams were over! All but one of the Survivors had made it through, and were awaiting the final confirmation of their success. One by one they were called in, and Brigadier Adrashtal issued them with the badge that proved that the trainee had succeeded, and now could call him or herself 'Medical Orderly'. This also entitled them to a higher salary than they had earned as recruits. At the same time, they would be informed as to where they were going to be sent for their first official posting. Unless the trainee had informed the Board that he or she wished to go into a specific field or Corps, it would usually be at the discretion of the Commanding Officer.
Tam had requested to be stationed on one of the many exploration ships. This was not essentially part of the military, but the forces did provide some of the essential back-up for many of the off-world expeditions. These services included security and medical personnel. After the members of the Board had congratulated him on his achievements - he had come third in the entire intake - the Brigadier informed him that he had been assigned to the N E F Omberdawn, one of the oldest of the explorers, and almost a legend in her own time.
One of the medical assistants was named Cassie, short for Cassiana. She was three years older than Tam, and had two young children from a previous marriage. Her first husband, Tam discovered, seemed incapable of keeping his hands off of other women, and the marriage ended in divorce. Once the separation had been made official, Jason - the father of Cassie’s children - left without a trace, and also without paying a single Credit's maintenance.
It did not take long before a relationship began to develop between Tam and Cassie. At first she seemed friendly and above board, and the two of them appeared to be very happy. The first time Tam met her two children, there was no sign of resentment or friction. After a while, the relationship grew, and soon it was apparent to all that they were in love.
As to be expected, the romance also became more and more intense, and this was when Tam first suspected that something was wrong. Every time the two of them got close to one another, and the passion arose between them, Cassie would suddenly back off. It was almost as though she was afraid of his advances. She would always say that it wasn't him, but that it could 'only be a kiss, and nothing more'. This frustrated Tam, but at first he thought that she had an issue because they were not married yet, but that didn't quite explain the fear that she expressed almost every time he tried to touch her intimately. At first, whenever he enquired, Cassie would shrug it off. But there was always a shadow that came over her face that she could not hide.
After about a year and a half, Tam and Cassie were engaged. That night, on the way to her house, she told Tam why she was afraid of intimacy: Her first child, Durlan, was conceived before she and her first husband were even married. Nonetheless, he claimed that he loved her, and would never do anything to harm her or her son. Alas, as time went on, not only did he start seeing other women, but he also became more and more abusive toward her. So much so that he raped her one night outside in the garden, and it was as a result of that violation that she fell pregnant with Keya, her second child. Contrary to the wishes of her entire family, Cassie decided not to have an abortion, but to keep her daughter, and love her like she would any other child born to her.
At last Tam believed that he understood her, and promised: “I would never hurt you or force you to do anything you did not agree to. That's a promise.”
“I know Tam.” She reassured him, “But now you know why I'm afraid.”
“I do.” He replied, “Thank you for being so frank with me.”
They were married three months later when they were on shore leave. The planet where the ceremony took place was only used as a holiday destination for the very rich, but Tam's Commanding Officer, who had a chalet that overlooked one of Ardhun's most beautiful beaches, arranged for the two love birds to stay for a few days as a sort of honeymoon.
The ceremony itself was very simple, and the only guests were the Omberdawn's crew, which was comprised of eighty members, plus the group of five scientists they were transporting at the time. After the reception, the newly-weds headed for the chalet. The weather was hot and sticky, and Tam went for a swim in the clear blue sea, not more than twenty metres away from where they were staying. Cassie had stated that she did not want to join him, and took a shower instead.
When Tam returned to the chalet, he found Cassie lying on the king-size double bed. She had changed into a short skirt, and a pink top with the buttons open. He could clearly see her cleavage where the material parted. Cassie's breasts were full and voluptuous, and it did not take long for Tam to feel the desire rising up in his loins. Nonetheless he hesitated. Cassie indicated for him to join her. Her smile, and the glint in her eye, told him that there was no more fear.
He took her in his arms, and kissed her as his hands caressed her underneath her blouse. She giggled seductively as he removed her top and undid her bra. As his lips enclosed around her nipples, she sighed in delectation, feeling them harden to his touch.
“Take your clothes off.” She instructed in a deep, lusty voice. He complied, and she bent over, allowing her long hair to gently caress his cock. Soon his member was jerking involuntarily as those silky strands sent shock-waves through his body. Her gentle hands started to jerk him off until he felt as though he could cum right there and then. He instructed her to stop, his body protesting against his instruction.
Cassie lay on her back, propping herself up with one arm. Tam lowered his head between her thighs, and began to stroke her honeypot with his tongue. It had been so long since anyone had touched her there that she felt herself climax almost immediately. She flopped over backwards, her head thrown back, and her mouth wide open as she let out a slow moan. As she reached her peak, Tam inserted his finger into her quim. He felt her inner muscles contract around him, and a trickle of warm wetness run down into his palm.
He lifted himself up on all-fours, his cock just touching her vulvae. He looked deep into her eyes, and saw only love as her hand coaxed him into her. Supporting his weight on his strong arms, he drove himself as deep into her as he could. Cassie lifted her hips off the bed in unison with his thrusts until she felt a second ecstatic wave rush through her. When her second orgasm had died down, Tam withdrew and told her to bend down on all-fours.
With his finger inside her, he began to lave her pussy once again with his tongue. Cassie showed her approval by rocking back and forth in time to his finger, a steady flow of clear fluid running down her thigh. She gripped the sheets tightly in her hands as wave upon wave of rapture engulfed her, and she cried out uncontrollably.
Tam entered her from behind. He knew that there was no stopping this time. His balls felt as though they would break any minute if they did not get any relief. Almost as if triggered off by his sense of urgency, Cassie's body erupted in climax one more time. The feeling of her muscles tightening around him drove Tam to the very edge. He was about to withdraw, in order to prevent himself from cumming inside her, but it was too late. With a mighty thrust, his cock released its load into her as he collapsed on top of her, pinning her to the bed.
“Oh shit! Oh shit!” He gasped, “I'm sorry babe. So sorry!”
Cassie turned to face him, a broad smile on her dreamy face. She whispered: “For what?”
He was about to reply when she put her index finger against his lips, and said softly: “Hush. Not a word! I'm not afraid any more, and after all, we are married.”
Tam laughed, and Cassie with him. They fell into a deep slumber in each other's arms.
The next morning, Tam awoke to find that Cassie was already up. She came out of the shower with a towel wrapped round her waist. He gazed at her full breasts, and she smiled at him. He felt sticky from perspiration, a reminder of the night before, and went to shower after his wife. Soon he emerged, wearing only a pair of jockey shorts. Cassie was standing, still with only her towel around her, looking out at the view of the sea through the window. Tam took her in his arms. She turned towards him, and he tried to kiss her, but for some reason she turned her face away, seemingly incapable of looking him in the eye. Unable to get an explanation from her, he left it at that.
After the honeymoon was over, it was as if he no longer knew the woman he had married. When the mission upon which he had been sent was over, he returned with her to his home, and of course insisted that her two children live with them. Cassie flatly refused, and instead demanded that he move to her house in which her stepfather and mother also stayed, albeit in a small flat that had been built on to accommodate them.
From that moment on, his life became one long nightmare! Cassie refused to share a room with him, let alone a bed. Her children treated him as though he were their enemy, and even her parents disliked him, especially her stepfather.
They had been married for just over a year, when one night, he overheard Cassie, her children, and her stepfather talking. Her mother had already gone to bed, and the four of them were sitting in the lounge. It was then that he made a most devastating discovery: There was no ex-husband named Jason! The father of her two children was none other than Jason, her own stepfather! Not only that, but there was no rape: He and his step daughter were having an affair right under her mother's nose! To make matters worse, all of them were treating the whole thing as a joke.
That was the last straw! Tam burst in on the conversation. Suddenly everyone else's face fell, and Cassie stood up, her mouth open as if she was about to explain. Tam raised his hand to silence her. Although he was seething with rage, he tried very hard to keep himself calm, and his voice quiet. He spoke slowly and precisely: “Cassie. You're still in love with him, aren't you?”
“Tam - I ...” She started, but he silenced her once again.
“You weren't afraid because of what you claim happened to you when Keya was born.” He continued, “You were ashamed of making love to me because you felt that you were being unfaithful to the father of your children.”
Again Cassie tried to speak, and again he told her to be quiet. Then he said, his rage beginning to boil up inside of him, and his voice becoming more menacing: “So why did you marry me? Was it so that I would adopt your children, and make this little love nest of yours legit? Or was it so that I would bank-roll you, pay your bills, and be the doting husband to a woman that never loved me?”
By now all self-control had been lost. Tam was shaking with anger, and he stopped briefly to catch his breath. Just then he saw the expression on Cassie's face. “My God! That's it, isn't it? Well I'm nobody's fucking lap-dog! I have already packed enough of my stuff for now. I'll be back to collect the remainder, if you would please pack it for me.”
Cassie could not answer him without more lies and deceit, and she was too ashamed to tell the truth. Tears ran down her cheeks as Tam turned to leave the room. Just then her stepfather jumped up, picked up a fire poker, and ran after him. Thankfully Tam had enough time to duck before the older man hit him, but the blow did not miss completely. Instead it struck him on the shoulder, slashing a wide laceration from just above the collar bone, till halfway down his upper arm.
Seeing the extent of his injuries, Cassie finally came out of her stupor, and ordered: “Papa stop - dammit! Killing him won't change the fact that he knows! Stop it - now!”
There was still fire in the old man's eyes, and it took him some time to lower the metal rod. Cassie's mother, having been woken up by the shouting, came into the room and took the weapon away from him, saying: “He's not worth it.”
Cassie came up to where Tam was standing. He was leaning up against the wall, blood pouring from the open wound. In a voice that told him that perhaps somewhere inside her there was a part that actually did care for him, she said: “Go and sit down. I will get your things and call an ambulance. I'll follow you with your luggage. I don't think it would be safe for you to come back here.”
A few painful minutes went by. There was total silence in the house. No-one said a word, but the silence was broken only by Tam's groans of pain. Cassie had applied a pressure dressing on the wound to stop the bleeding, but his shoulder still smarted like hell from the torn muscles. At last the ambulance arrived, and he was on his way to the hospital. On route, he contacted his boss, firstly to say that he would not be able to return to work in time for the next mission, and to ask if there was space for him in the singles quarters back at camp. When his superior officer tried to ask him what the hell was going on, all Tam said was: “I'll tell you when I get back to work.”
Tam underwent extensive surgery to repair the damage to his shoulder. After months of physiotherapy and painful exercise, his injury healed to the point where his arm was almost totally functional. The doctor warned that he would suffer pain for quite some time until he would be able to use it properly, and that there was a possibility that he would not recover fully from the incident at all.
Three weeks after the event, Tam received a notification that Cassie was filing for divorce. She demanded maintenance for her two children, and a percentage of his savings. Of course, Tam returned the message that she was not entitled to get a single Credit from him. Nearing the end of his mail, he conceded that he would give her a lump-sum. He informed her that if she did not accept his offer, he would tell the whole story of what had happened to the court, and let the law take its course. It did not even take an hour for her to reply: “You win. I'll take the money
A few days later, he was discharged from the hospital. His father said that he would pick him up and take him to the military camp. He sat on the side of the hospital bed, his head in his hands. In his mind he asked himself the question: “How the fuck did I come to this? My life was fucking as perfect as it could be! What the fuck happened?”
Before he could answer himself, his father appeared. “Come on son.” He said softly, “Let's get you out of this place. That bitch off-loaded all your stuff at our house, and your brother and I took it to the camp. Luckily we met with your C O, and he told us where to put it. I just hope nothing is missing. Those bastards!”
© Copyright 2017 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Erotica
Short Story / Romance
Book / Romance