Two caves over, I hear the wet sound of sex, and a woman’s whimper. “Oh God yes, like that,” moans Nora. “Spank me like that.”
A soft thwack echoes in my translator, and I groan and cover the hated thing with both my hands. I try to roll over on my side and push it into the pillow I’ve made out of scraps, but all that does is shove the translator harder into my ear canal, and it sends a shooting pain through my skull. So, I flip onto my back and stare up at the rocky ceiling of the bachelorette cave.
“Just like that, my big, strong, sexy beast,” Nora cries again.
“Nnnngggghhhh,” says her big, strong, sexy beast (also known as Dagesh). To make matters worse, I hear another woman giggle, and then Stacy and Pashov – who, because of crowding, share a cave with Nora and her mate – go at it, too.
I hate this translator. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I push the pillow over my face, ignoring the fuzzy fur that sticks to my mouth. It wouldn’t be too bad if just made every conversation happen in stereo as it translates it. Oh no. It also amplifies everything. So I hear every ass slap, every moan, every grunt, every kiss…everything.
And the tribal caves are chock-full of people mating lately. With us humans that crashed here, we ended up having to take on what the aliens call a khui. It’s a symbiont that allows us to live on the planet without the atmosphere killing us. Of course, one of the side-effects of the khui is that it decides who and when you mate, and there’s no going around it.
Considering that the tribe of alien men – known as sa-khui – outnumber the alien women four to one, I’m not surprised that mating after mating has happened. Out of the twelve human survivors dumped here, six have mated.
I’m…not one of them.
It’s hard not to feel like a reject at times because my khui is silent. When it finds you the perfect mate, it starts to vibrate. It’s a bit like purring, but more song-like. The aliens call it ‘resonating’ and a male will only resonate to his female and vice versa. And despite the insta-mating, everyone that has hooked up is blissfully happy. Georgie adores her alien, Vektal, who’s the leader of the tribe. My friend Liz is fiercely protective of her mate, Raahosh. Stacy and Marlene and even weepy, terrified Ariana love their men. And it’s clear that Nora is into her mate, if the sounds of sexy spanking are any indication.
All the ‘leftover’ girls – aka the unmated ones – are piled into a cave together. I was lucky enough to get the nook in the corner with a curtain for privacy. Not that it does much to muffle the sounds. I can still hear everything…and I can also hear when someone sneaks out to visit a guy, like Claire is currently doing.
Claire’s one of the tube girls, so I don’t know her as well as some of the others. When we were captured by aliens, several were held in stasis in pods stuck into the wall, oblivious of their surroundings. The rest of us – Liz, Georgie, me and a few others – were crammed into the dirty, crowded hold like animals and lived there for weeks. You bond when you’re in a situation like that, and I miss them.
I don’t know Claire as well as I know them. I haven’t bonded with her over weeks of hugging to share warmth and melting snow just to have something to drink. In a way, I almost resent the tube girls because they had it easy while the rest of us were scraping by to survive. It’s not their fault, and they’re just as shocked and traumatized by the alien abduction as we are. We just had it worse for longer.
I call a mental image of Claire to mind. She’s pretty, with a soft, downy cap of white-blonde hair cut in a pixie style that frames her small face perfectly. She’s extremely quiet, and isn’t prone to excessive weeping like Ariana is. And she didn’t resonate.
So why she sneaks out to fuck one of the aliens, I have no idea. I don’t know which one it is, either, but it concerns me. Has she been pressured? Led to believe that she has to give up her body in order to have safety? Are the single men here in the cave too direct and the girls afraid to turn them away?
I make a mental note to talk to her in the morning. I feel responsible for all the girls here. I was the first one to be left out of the stasis pods, so I feel like I’m the most senior. I’ve turned into the den mother of our human girls, even though Georgie’s our unofficial leader. And I worry about them being taken advantage of. The fact is, even though Vektal’s people have taken us in with open arms, we are still strangers to their customs and their world. It doesn’t hurt to be cautious.
As the sound of more sex starts up again, I clamp the pillow against my translator to muffle sound and wait for everyone to fall asleep.