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Homebrew - A Blog Science Fiction Novel

Hand-tossing pizza in micro-gravity is an art. For one thing, even the slightest push to the side causes the spinning dough to drift away, far more rapidly than it sinks back down.

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Location: Citrus Heights, California
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Homebrew - Chapter Five

Chapter Five
Working for a Living

Don’t go around saying that the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
-Mark Twain

September 27, 2011

Earth hung below Dermot, glistening green to the North shading to medium tan closer to the Equator, the oceans a sapphire blue counterpoint. Not that he had much time to enjoy the view this last month. Once he had passed certification for outside assembly crew, he had spent six day work weeks hauling framing pieces, assembling array modules, testing circuits; while it had been rewarding getting the extra pay, he felt so exhausted at the end of his shifts, he barely managed to eat his meals and collapse in bed. And his relationship skills had taken a nose-dive. Prior to arriving at OPS-1, he and Ellen were close, and getting closer. Now, with his energy sapped, he snarled and snapped when he should have been sweet-talking.
This very moment, she hung opposite him, connector-bolt ready to place through the holes in the frame pieces for this section of the array module. Yet, except for an occasional curt 'Are you ready', she hadn't said anything to him all shift. It was time to do the unthinkable.
"Elle," he started, fumbling for the right words, "we have to talk."
"No one's stopping you. Go ahead, talk." Her words froze his ears and his tongue. He bent closer tugging the overlapping pieces in line, slapped a glue ball over the hole and she slammed the connector in place, bursting the ball and smearing glue along the rod - joint made. "I'm waiting," she added.
"Um... Yeah." He rushed out the rest. "Look, I'm sorry I've been such a jerk lately. It's nothing you've done. I've just been,"
"Bent out of shape? Nose out of joint? A real asshole?" she filled in for him. "I'm thinking All-of-the-above fits perfect." She moved down the edge of the frames to the next connection point. He drifted after her, burning with shame and not a little desire to justify his actions.
"Yes. Some of the above. Maybe even all the above, although I would hope you're exaggerating a bit." He turned away to stare at the globe beneath him.
"Earth to Patrick. Come in Patrick. We have a schedule to beat and just floating there staring down isn't beating it." Her words brought him back.
Turning he said, "Sure is beautiful, isn't it?" He focused upon her, not the frame. "I mean, part of why we came up here was to be able to take in the view, that view. Or at least that was one of my reasons."
"Sure, but we're on the clock. We have all off-shift and our break day to sight-see." She flipped up her glare shield and looked at him, a safe enough action as the Sun was far off to their right. "Are you... Okay, apology accepted. But if you want to talk about this further, I'll listen. Just not right now; save it for when we come off shift. We've only got another half hour."
"Is that okay? Because I'd really like to talk about this." He began to tug the holes into alignment, then looked up. "Don't forget to lower your shield."
With that, they continued, finishing the current array section almost five minutes before shift end. After their Assistant Shift Module Assembly Supervisor cleared their work, they caught the first tow back to the hangar bay. On the way in, Ellen nudged him and pointed to their left, down-orbit from the station. At first, he couldn't see what she was pointing to. Then recognition flooded through him; the four points of light just coming above the horizon were moving. That meant they were approaching OPS-1. They were the Sundancer III habitat modules voyaging to rendezvous with OPS-1! In less than a month they would be in orbit just six kilometers behind the power station.
Once inside and out of their breather packs and helmets, Dermot and Ellen snagged bag meals, heading for Dermot's room. J'Shawn and Dora had been reassigned to Third Shift for the remainder of the week as a pair of workers had come down with the flu and were currently sitting the disease out in isolation in the on-site Medical Module. By this time Dermot's room would be empty. Naturally, he opened the hatch and waved her in first.
"Have a seat." he said, pulling down one of the fold-out chairs for himself and giving her the bunk. He opened his sack, examined the meal and glanced up. "I got grilled tuna melt and fresh fruit. How about you?"
"Give me that. Here's your sliced turkey sandwich and macaroni salad." She pushed her bag into his hands and snagged her own. "How you can eat that macaroni is beyond me."
For the few minutes it took to eat their meals and finish their drink boxes, they ate in silence. After catching the last drifting scraps with the hand-vac, he put the refuse in the garbage slot. Unable to avoid the conversation any longer, he turned and found her watching him, not showing encouragement or rejection.
"Picking up where I left off," he said into the silence, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get so withdrawn. Nor did I want to behave as if I was mad at you. I'm... not mad so much as frustrated. But not with you."
"Then what or who is causing all this frustration?"
"Good question. And I'm not sure of the answer. I do know that part of it comes from work. I feel as if I'm on a treadmill and not getting anywhere, but I'm doing so very fast. Does that make sense?"
"I don't know. Do you think there's something you're not doing? Or is it more that you don't get along well with our supervisor?"
"I think it has to do more with not accomplishing something. I mean, you saw our habitat modules are on their way, yet it's as if we're in a holding pattern until they get here. That's part of it; I want to have things ready to go when they arrive, but I don't know exactly what I want to have ready." He sighed. "I'm sorry; I've been a jerk. I just don't know..."
Ellen shifted down to one end, patting one hand beside her on the bunk. "Come over here," She reached out and tugged him out of the chair, guiding him over and turning him, as he sat, so he faced away from her. She began to knead his shoulders as she continued.
"You are not the only one who is feeling disappointment about our jobs. You should hear Dora. She has a Master's in Business Administration; do you remember her telling us? Yet here she is hauling around girders and dispensing tape." Dermot leaned into Ellen's ministrations, staring out the viewport and listening to her words. Finding out he wasn't alone in his feelings worked with the massage, bringing a release of tension. Half his mind listened to her while the rest pondered how he could use those habitat modules they now owned. He wondered why he hadn't done this sooner.
Her words snapped him back to the reality of her room.
"What did you just say?"
"I said you've received all the back rubs you're gonna get from me." tartness dripped in her every word. "It's my turn to be pampered."
"No, not that. You said something else..."
"I"m going to say something else if you don't turn around and give me a massage. My back is killing me." She eeled past him, stretching out full-length along his bunk, teasing him with, "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Hardin."
"Not before you tell me what you said at the last."
She rolled over to face him showing her irritation, "This better be important. After all the work I just put into your..."
"I promise to pay extra attention. Now what were you saying," he interrupted.
"I said, it's too bad we can't just drop over to the cafeteria and get a pizza. That's the one big thing I miss about being up here instead of ground-side. I guess they can't figure out how to make a good pizza up here."
"That's it! You're a genius!" He pulled her up and wrapped his hands around her skull, sliding a slobbery kiss across her lips.
"Ewww! You know I hate goopy, dripping kisses!" She tried to disengage but was just able to wipe off the beads of moisture before he planted a deeper kiss on her, sliding his hands down and pulling her close. His warmth heated her and she felt her heart skip a beat as her body matched his heartbeat. Abandoning any attempt for conversation, she gave in and molded herself to him, returning cuddle for cuddle, tightening her own embrace of him.
"Mmphph!" she attempted to say, an interminable time later. She found the strength to pull away from his mouth, his lips, his face. "Wonderful. It's about time you remembered how to do that. Now was there a particular reason for it or were you just telling me how much you loved me?"
"Um," he stalled. "Damned if I know. After a kiss like that, does it really matter? Oh wait! You complained about pizza."
"Man. If I complain about broccoli, do I get a full makeout session?" She batted her eyes and smiled, invitation written broad upon her face.
He pulled back feigning disgust. "Yuck! You'd actually expect to make out after eating broccoli? That's it, I want our progeny to not have a broccoli-loving gene."
She sat up, pushing both of them off the bunk and toward the ceiling. He grabbed her with one hand and the safety bar near the head of the bunk with his other, pulling them back down.
"You want to have kids?" she demanded. "With me?"
He took his time answering, trying to read her mood from her expression. Finally, he said, "Sure I do. You and I click, far better than Mary." At her name, Ellen frowned, but kept her silence. "I... Well what I mean is... Look, it's probably too early to make plans, and I didn't really want to push, but I'd like us to be, eventually, an 'us', not just short-term friends."
"I accept!" At his horrified look, she relented. "Oh, keep your booties on. I'm not trying to trap you into an instant marriage; we've got months and months to think about it - at least two years. Dad's somewhat of a traditionalist, he doesn't believe in short romances and quick engagements." Dermot relaxed, somewhat. She ploughed onward, "Tell me again about pizza."
"Oh. That." He gathered his thoughts, allowing her to pull him back down beside her. "I was thinking we could make one of the habitats into a pizzeria. Maybe hook up a mirror array to heat a fire-brick lined oven hanging off one side of the 'garage' module; that module would be our kitchen. Since the garage modules are metal, we wouldn't have the risk of burn-through if the mirror came out of alignment - at least not as fast as on the fabric module. And there'd be plenty of room to fit out some game stations and tables. If we set it to spinning, we could generate enough force to keep butt and pizzas on the chairs and tables." He stopped when he caught her expression. "What? You don't think it's a good idea?"
"NO! It's a great idea! You're a flipping genius!" This time she initiated the mandibular docking maneuver, taking sufficient time to seal the netting over them. Minutes passed, and the room became noisy with the sounds of their passion. Later, spent from their lovemaking, she curled close, snuggled between his body and the cabin wall.
"Patrick?" she said. "If we can run a pizza parlor, could we also do salvage work? We'll have three other habitats out there, close by. And all of them have cargo bays. Plus each of them comes with it's own tow boat."
"Salvage? Salvage as in 'we go sweep up the garbage', or do you mean something else," he murmured, already drifting off. She elbowed him. "Ow! What did you do that for?"
"Wake up! I'm serious. Can we start a salvage operation?"
"Sure thing. They're very serious about cleaning up the junk out of the orbit paths. These solar arrays aren't cheap. The more junk removed, the lower the chance a piece is going to hit one of the panels and have to be replaced before maintenance has scheduled it."
"What about refurbishing some of the smaller satellites? Could we do that? Could we go out, capture them, bring them in, fix them up and put them back out, ready for their owners to put them to use?"
"In general, we could." He thought for a moment. "I see several issues we'd have to deal with. We'd have to get permission to move them from their current orbits to our shop. We'd have to have diagnostic tools and manuals, as well as either chip-level or board-level replacement parts, and we'd have to have a source of fuel. That would be our biggest expense, and our biggest headache. Because we'd have to either buy fuel in small quantities, or build a storage tank 'farm' and buy in bulk. Plus we'd have to have a way to advertise our services."
"So it's feasible?"
"Yep. We could do it. I don't know if we could handle it right away, but we could do it. Maybe in a few months. Remember, we'd have to use those tow boats to go out and retrieve the satellites. Some of them are rather big - and far out in other orbits."
"So let's say we start with the small ones in the closer orbits. And let's make the assumption we'd start out on just those which are still sending signals, but have lost maneuvering thrusters. How many do you think we're looking at? Five? Ten?"
"More like several hundred. They've been sending these things up for years."
She noticed his hands performing a slow caress up and down her spine, making it difficult to focus on the train of her thoughts. Yet she fought to maintain her concentration, not quite willing to give in to the demands he, and her body, were making on her. Even so, she couldn't quite resist her impulse to run her own hands over his sleek hips and along the curve of his ribs.
"Mmmm... And I thought you were tired and wanted to go to sleep," she said. "We'll start by offering to do the first four or five 'on spec'. No charge to them if we can't handle the job. And... And I'll just have to write all this down later."
With that, she let herself go, wrapping herself around him, pulling him close as she molded her body to his.
In response, he cupped one hand around ass and squeezed it, grinding against her hips and belly. His neck bent down and around, his mouth found the hollow of her neck, just below her earlobe. He began to alternate between light kisses and soft breaths, tickling her in one of her most sensitive areas.
She rolled slightly to one side, exposing her breast, giving him the opportunity to move further down and he took it. Stopping every inch to kiss her skin, he followed the curve of her neck, moving closer and closer, edging onto the cleft between her breasts. There, he paused, exhaled soft air over her flesh, raising goosebumps. Then he stroked around the base of the mounded skin with his tongue, once, twice, three times. Each time his mouth came closer to the center and it's treasure. By the time he reached the areole, her nipple had hardened and extended nearly a half inch above the rest of her breast. He took it between his teeth, nibbling an pulling up, the most gentle of tugs. She felt her breasts firming under his ministrations. Further, a tingling heat had started to grow in her belly, working it's way down This caused her to grind with more strength against his loins.
Moaning, ever so softly, he moved his other hand along her back and down her thighs with increasing fervor. His sex swelled against her abdomen, rising again. She groaned and captured one of his hands, pushing down, down between her thighs, guiding it to her quivering valley, still slick from their first lovemaking. He needed no further hint and began to stroke along it's outer edges, playing with the button of firmer flesh, stroking it, teasing it, even gently flicking it. As she grew even more moist, he started to slip a finger inside, but she couldn't wait; she grabbed his hand and held three of his fingers together, using them, plunging them slow but deep inside her. Then as he continued to stroke, she gathered more of her wetness in her own hands and washed them over his own member, laving the shaft top to bottom three, then four times. Keeping her hands on him, she shifted herself away from his hands and guided him inside.
The warmth of his flesh, throbbing against her was nearly too much. Four strokes and she was already building to a climax, but he sensed this and held back, slowing his motion, drawing her vibrations and convulsions to a finer edge, sending her higher and higher. With each stroke she gave small cry, the cries coming closer together, her hands pulling him closer and deeper within her, fingernails clawing his back and sides, until she could no longer tell one cry from another, her whole body throbbing to a single, massive high. Then, and only then, he gave one final push, striving further than he'd reach on any of the previous strokes, his arms tightening around her as he cried out in release.
"Oh God!" she cried and buried her head in his chest.

* * *

"Would you believe the smell of this place!" Dora's voice echoed into Ellen's dreams. "You'd think a whole herd of wild hogs had mad, passionate sex in here! And look here, J'Shawn, here are the wild hogs on the bottom bunk!"
"Man, oh man. I've heard of funky sex, crazy sex, even kinky sex, but I've never, ever heard of stinky sex! Bro', just what were you and her thinking!" Ellen was having the most peculiar dream, it sounded so real, so life-like, so... She shot upright, tangling in the security netting and exposing herself, and Dermot, to two sets of very amused eyes.
"Oh... My God! You're back already! You can't be! Your shift isn't over yet!" She tried, without success to snag her clothing. Failing that, she burrowed back down and wrapped the cloth of the netting over her and Dermot, who, by now had woken enough to gaze at her, with sleep-fogged eyes.
With an almost zombie-like motion, he rolled over and said, "Hey... what are you guys doing back so soon? Shouldn't you two still be hauling things around?" He rolled back to Ellen, a stupid smile on his face. "Lookie, Elle, They're home early."
"You nitwit!" Ellen grabbed his wadded clothing and stuffed them in his face. Then, pulling the sheet up and around her, she turned to the others, striving for as much dignity as the situation would allow. "Could you please give us a few moments to get decent?"
"Sure thing." J'Shawn replied, making no move to leave the room, although Dora tried to slide past him and through the door. "You two go ahead and do what you have to do. Dora and I will watch."
"C'mon big guy. You don't need a peek show to get you turned on. I swear I'm going to tell the cafeteria staff to put saltpeter in your meals." Dora said, finally managing to pry his hand loose from the grab bar by the door. "We'll leave you two some privacy; come over to our room when you're ready." With that, she pushed J'Shawn into the corridor, shutting the hatch behind her.
"Damn. Another opportunity to start a promising career as a porn star blown by the morality squad." Dermot said, shoving the clothes off his face and pulling Ellen back down to his level. "Now that we have privacy, what say we practice those docking procedures again?" He stroked his hand along her belly and breasts, warming her skin, tickling the fine hairs of her mound.
"Patrick!" she protested, raising herself away from him, "they're going to be waiting for us."
"Yeah, they are. And you heard J'Shawn, he's not going to mind at all if they have to wait a bit longer. And I don't think Dora will thank you for interrupting them in five or ten minutes." He bent forward and kissed the hollow of her throat and felt her shudder beneath his caresses. "We have time..."
"Do you think?" she managed to force the words out past her thickening tongue, holding off by force of will her desire to melt into him. "Or should we give them a full hour?"
"An hour should do," he murmured against her.
“An hour,huh? Promises, promises.” She retorted. “I’ll bet you expect me to do all the work, too.” With this she stretched out against him, limiting his reach to her back and sides.
“You will if you stay there.” With that, he lifted her up and rolled her off to his side, once again gaining access to her more intimate regions. “Ahh, there we go. Approach program engaged.”
“Not this time!” Ellen used the lower gravity and the leverage of her foot hooked on the edge of her bunk to spin him over her, his feet pointing over her head, and lifted her mouth to his manhood. Taking it slowly between her lips, she began to stroke it with her tongue as she suctioned it deeper. His body responded by swelling under her ministrations, lengthening and warming. In a few minutes, as his hips moved in time to her mouth, he began to throb, signaling an urgency he could no longer control. So she increased her actions, pulling her teeth along his shaft as she ran her tongue around its cap faster and faster, all the while keeping her suction going. At last he went rigid as she tasted his seed spill into her mouth, filling it with creamy warmth. She swallowed deep, even as she heard him moan.
But Dermot had not been too distracted by her actions. Although he’d not been as strenuous at it, he had kept her own genitals under his mouth, piercing her with the warmth of his tongue. Now, as his body relaxed, his lips, teeth and tongue took on a renewed urgency.
He nibbled at her own swollen vaginal lips and slicked his hot tongue along them, with every third stroke reaching up to her now hot and swollen clit. With each cycle, she felt the need to buck her hips higher, giving more direct access to him. Soon he reached around her thighs with his arms, one pulling her into position and locking his mouth against her as the other hand plunged three fingers deep into her wetness, back and forth at the same speed as his tongue flick, flick, flicked over her throbbing clit. As her vaginal muscles contracted again and again in waves with ever increasing frequency, she moaned and groaned against him, tonguing his once-flaccid rod, the vibrations causing him to swell yet a third time. Suddenly, her body convulsed in a final, massive wave of orgasm, rocking her body even as she nearly screamed into his heat. Her thighs locked over his head, trapping his tongue and hand deep within her as she gushed orgasmal fluids which he eagerly sucked down.
Finally, she relaxed enough to release him and he pulled free. With the gentlest of motions he swiveled around her and eased his rock-hard manhood back inside her wetness, causing her to rocket into yet another screaming orgasm as he locked his mouth onto hers and climaxed, his body urging itself deep inside as her own clenched to draw him even deeper.
As she quivered in ultimate relaxation, he slumped on top of her in a bonelessness signaling total release.
Minutes passed…
“I don’t want to move,” he whispered. “If I do, you won’t be wrapped around me.”
“Then don’t move. I don’t want to lose you. Stay inside me where I can feel your warmth.” She sighed. “When we’re joined like this, I feel… I feel as if we’re one person, as if we’ve become God.”
He pulled his head up and looked into her eyes. “You do? That’s how I feel.”
“Really? Good. I’d hate to have children with a man who didn’t feel that way.” She paused, “Speaking of children, what if one of us gets pregnant? Can we raise children up here? I mean, there’s no gravity so won’t that be harmful to their bone density.”
“I promise you, when we have children,we will have solved that problem – even if we have to build a revolving habitat,” he said, hugging her close to him. “Whatever it takes, our children will have a home up here.”

* * *

"So..." J'Shawn asked, as he and Dora entered her room, "one hour or two?"
"What are you blathering about now?" She floated down to her bunk and he followed, perching on the edge. "And what was that business about watching? Don't get comfortable, big guy. They're going to be here any minute now."
"That's what I'm talking about. Those two won't get here for at least another hour. If I know my dawg Patrick, they didn't even get out of the bunk. He wants seconds on dessert."
"Oh! You're disgusting!" She punched him in the shoulder, hard, which pushed him to the end of the bunk while she slid into the bulkhead at the head of her bunk. "Ow! See what you made me do!" she pouted.
"Babe," he said, using his rebound from the bunk post to slide closer to her, "you need some of J's special healing magic." He reached up and brushed her hair back from her eyes, letting his fingers stop at the back of her neck, where they began to massage, straying down to her upper shoulders and back.
"That feels so good," she responded, her eyes closed. Then she opened them and asked, "You really think they're not going to be here right away?"
"Yep. He had that look, and she didn't appear all that eager to bounce out and get on with her day, if you know what I mean."
"In that case," she rolled over onto her stomach, "give me one of your patented back rubs. I want the full treatment. Pushing aluminum all day isn't easy; I feel the need to be pampered."
"Your wish is my command, babe." Hooking one leg around the frame of the bunk, he bent forward to fulfill his promise.
Starting with her shoulders, he moved his fingers along her muscles, probing with a light pressure, seeking out knots and other tightness.
"Wait a moment," she said. Then she stripped out of her skinsuit, leaving on just her panties. She placed the clothing on her desk and retrieved scented oil from inside. "I like the feeling this gives," she said, handing him the squeeze bottle and stretching out again.
For a while, he worked his hands over her body, kneading, stroking, caressing and pummeling, into which her body softened. He ignored no area in his ministrations, letting the oil warm in his hands and sink into her skin as he smoothed and rolled her underlying muscles. Her breathing first softened, then quickened it's pace as she spread her limbs, opening herself to him. Eventually, at his slightest touch, she allowed herself to be turned over, giving her front to his questing hands.
As his fingers stroked her belly, it quivered and she arched her back, urging him to move up to her breasts, to give them the attention they sought. When he complied, she moaned, "Ooohhh... Please, touch them, stroke them, make them warm and loved."
"Them and you, babe. Them and you." he breathed. Continuing his slow strokes, he teased her, alternately pulling and caressing, feeling her flesh firm under his touch. Every so often, he let one hand wander down, further along her body, gently tapping and massaging her flanks, pressing in along her thighs and pulling up with just his fingertips on the insides of her loins. He let his fingers of that hand slide under her panties, questing nad then finding her most intimate areas, slowing ther to gentle the lips of her crevice, sliding them just inside, touching her moisture. Then he would draw them up the crease formed by her thigh and groin, meandering up to her belly button, playing with it for a bit and then continuing back down the crease on her other side, reaching yet again for her heat.
On the third such voyage, she bucked her hips upward, causing his fingers to plunge deeper into her warm moistness. "Yessss..." she groaned. "do that some more." And she grabbed his hand with hers, directing his now-glistening fingers over her swollen knob. At the same time, she used her other hand to pull his head forward and down to her rigid and lengthened nipples. He gave in and sucked the closest one into his mouth, nibbling the length of it's sides and pulling it outward. Almost releasing it, he spread his lips further out around the mound of her breast and tasted her flesh, rolling his tongue over its velvety expanse.
While he did so, she continued to use his fingers as a bundle of rods, plunging them deep within her, withdrawing their wet length and rubbing her hard button of sex with them, faster and faster, moving his hand in time with the bucking of her hips. Her other hand left his head, and pressed against her belly, pushing up and down its length, while his other hand pressed against her back, urging her body closer to his.
Suddenly, he felt her pull away from his one hand, leaving it inside her. Then she fumbled for the seals to his suit. Opening it, she pulled it away from his shoulders and down his sweat-dampened body. He lifted slightly and she continued to push, rolling his clothes down until he could kick loose from them, suit and shorts. With that done, she lifted her own hips and he pulled off her remaining garment, even as she moved her own hands down, seeking his swelling maleness. With a few swift strokes along its purple shaft, she had coated it with her own juices, then she helped position him to enter her and she guided his length as he pushed far inside, accepting it all within her. His throbbing threatened to send her over the edge of climax even as he drove deeper. When he pulled it back, she felt the vacuum inside her start a standing wave of contractions, racing up and down the length of her being. On his next downstroke, she grabbed his cheeks with both hands and pulled him to her, grinding his mound against hers, once, twice, thrice, four times. Joy exploded within her, rumbling outward, tightening her limbs even as her moist tunnel went into an overload of sensation, waves reverberating up and down it's length, squeezing him, bonding to him, feeling his own wetness explode deep within her.
"Damn, woman." he managed to get out. "Warn a man before you get that intense." Then he dropped down to lay full-length against her, his rigidity draining. He made no move to withdraw from within her, content to stay joined body and soul, reveling in the closeness of having her wrapped around him. He lifted his face and with a sensual gentleness, he placed his lips on hers, wrapping his arms around her as he shared the touch, the taste, the warmth of her mouth and his, lips, teeth and tongue. At the same time, without pulling from inside her, he wrapped his lower legs out and around hers, locking her within his tender embrace. She allowed this and her own arms moved to complete the embrace, molding herself to him, sharing his warmth.
For uncounted moments they nestled together, kissing and stroking each other along their flanks, buttocks and backs, basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking. But the languorous movements re-kindled the flames of their passion. Within her tunnel, she felt his flaccid length expand, hardening as it grew. It throbbed upward along the roof, tickling her womb with it's heart-beat insistence. Not yet making a conscious decision, her own body eagerly matched his movements, forming a matching rhythm that enticed his body to push deeper again inside her.
In her ear, he whispered, "Woman, I believe you have managed to stir my passion."
She chortled, "And mine, O Wondrous Man of mine." She kissed him and continued, "Since you're so willing, I thought I'd let you know I'm eager." She kissed him again, this time pushing her tongue alongside his in time with the thrusting of her hips. He joined her motion, taking it slow, the need for a fast release spent during their first passion.
Holding her with a firm embrace, he rolled over, pulling her on top of him. Once there, he slid his hands along her flanks, pushing down and forward on her hips. In reaction she arched her upper body, breaking from their kiss. She writhed and moaned, grinding herself against him as she scratched her fingers into his chest. Her vaginal muscles rippled, demanding, grasping him and bringing him deeper inside her.
"More... Harder..." she pled. "I want all of you. I need every bit of you. Fill me. Don't stop." With every plea she clamped her thighs harder around him, willing herself to stroke his shaft, forcing it to plough against her inner wall, milking it, demanding he release himself into her. As she did so, she ran her hands over her breasts, rough and hard. She squeezed them together as her whole body convulsed in an unending wave of orgasms, the thrumming of her sex breaking through his own concentration and ripping loose his own climax. Even as she felt his seed shooting into her, merging his warmth with her own moistness, she flushed and bucked, each of her movements, even the slightest starting yet another shuddering climax.
Finally, she collapsed onto his chest, heart racing, her gasps and his thundering in her ears. Her very skin felt on fire from the flush of blood raised to its surface. Spent, his staff slowly softened, yet every stage of his collapse triggered further mini-orgasms within her. She felt her vision begin to fade, as her body responded to his continued strokes and kisses, quivering and jerking slightly as it separated from her control. So this is what it's like, she thought, to literally faint from orgasms, as she gave herself over to the final peak.
An immeasurable time later, she felt him withdraw, taking his sweet warmth from her.
"Baby, it's been almost an hour and a half." he breathed into her ear, "If we don't want them doing to us what we did to them, we have to get up and get clean." His voice sounded near, yet so distant, almost unreal.
"Do we have to? Couldn't we just keep going as we were?" she begged, her limbs unable to move even at the languorous pace his hands took over her tingling body. She rolled in the direction of his voice and opened her eyes, staring into the brown depths of his, her desire so plain to see mirrored in his own. "Why don't we lock the door and give them an excuse to go back to their own pleasure? You know I can never get enough of you."
"I would love that, but I can hear them in the next room and they've definitely gotten up. And I think Ellen wanted to tell us something." He paused and grinned. "Besides, this will give me time to eat and build up my strength! But if you need something to tide you over, I'm happy to oblige." He slid down out of sight, and with a gentle push, laid her on her back. She could follow his motion by the feathery kisses trailing down her front, meandering a bit to take in each breast - which side trips caused her to experience two separate mini-orgasms - and then his lips moved further south, taking in her belly button and finally sliding over her mound and onto her hot, swollen folds. Flicking between her fleshy lips and her rapidly firming clitoris, he hummed, licked, sucked and nibbled until she convulsed and clamped her thighs, forcing his head against her dripping opening as her latest orgasm racked her.
When she finally relaxed, he slid forward, scooping her in his arms and wrapping her in his embrace. "That will have to hold you until we hear what they have to say. Then I want a rematch," he promised.

* * *

"Are you back together," Dermot teased. "No hair out of place? No smeared lipstick? Nothing to give our little secret away to the neighbors?"
"Tease!" She slapped his shoulder, not enough to set him adrift, but enough to get her point across. "As if J'Shawn and Dora haven't figured out what we were doing. I just hope they had enough time for their own needs."
"If I heard correctly, although I'll admit the bulkhead is a reasonable sound deadener, I think they had time and more." He smirked at her. "No, I meant our 'other' neighbors."
She halted her hand inches before it contacted the buzzer set alongside Dora's hatch, spinning to face him. "Are you joking? You are joking, right? We didn't make that much noise... did we?" She paled. "Patrick, I have to work alongside these people. What will they think?"
"Funny, I thought you'd be more upset about Dora finding out."
"I am! She probably thinks I'm some kind of slut. I didn't even try to get back to our room last night." She moaned. "I am a slut."
"First, do you really want to be saying things like this in a public corridor when anyone could happen along." He reached out and pulled her to him. "Second, what we shared is something beautiful, something no slut or bastard could possibly experience or understand. Third, Dora's the last person who'd criticize her best friend and roommate for having feelings..." He couldn't finish because her lips found his for a moment. "What was that for?"
"For loving me." She turned and pushed the buzzer. The hatch swung open, revealing J'Shawn standing next to it. Behind him they saw Dora closing her skinsuit.
"Come on in guys. We've been expecting you. What took you so long?" J'Shawn asked, a smile on his face.
"J'Shawn!" Dora said, flushing almost in concert with Ellen, "Do you have to?"
"Have to, what, girl. I'm just saying 'Hello'. Can't a man say 'Hello' to his friends? What's the matter, Elle?" he teased Ellen, winking over her head at Dermot, "You got the same fever as Dora?"
"She does," Dermot replied, "Stigmatus Orgasmus Multiplex combined with a sudden onset of Feverus Embarrassus. It's obviously quite contagious. I hear that much bed rest and stimulation of the nerve endings is a sure fire cure." He high-fived J'Shawn as he stepped past the hatch and closed it.
"Can you believe these guys?" Dora said. "It's as if they have to tell the whole world they're doing it with us!"
"Hey, you can't lay that claim on me. It was Ellen who wanted to discuss our love life in the passage. I'm a gentleman, and a gentleman never kisses and tells." His statement caused Ellen to blush even deeper.
"Is this true?" J'Shawn asked. "Were you talking about it out in the hallway? Damn, man," he turned to Dermot, "you done made her proud with your skills if she's willing to talk about it in public. Way to go!"
"All right. Enough! You two have proven a woman can die of terminal embarrassment." Ellen moved over to Dora's bunk, pulling Dora with her. "Can we move on to something else?"
"What she said, guys. Let's hear what Ellen wanted to say."
Dermot and J'Shawn folded out the chairs and sat.
"It's really Patrick's idea," Ellen said, "Or rather, the first one is, and I think he should be the one to tell you."
"M'man. You couldn't ask for a better intro than that," said J'Shawn. "Take it away. She's got my interest piqued."
"You all know that we've got those four habitat modules arriving in our orbit in about a month." At his words, they nodded.
There had been delays in completing all the necessary paperwork and getting approval for the orbits they'd selected, but after about a three month delay, the Sundancer III hotel/garage modules started their two month trip to match the new orbits. By this time, they could, if the conditions were right, see a diamond pattern of moving objects just above the Earth's horizon. Already the four modules were swinging around to begin the braking burn. If all went well, about the last week in November the modules should assume a position about 25,000 feet behind the main part of OPS-1, or a little less than four miles from the trailing edge of the Post-Orbital Array.
Bringing the modules so close to OPS-1 had almost been a deal-breaker. While the orbital position was outside the restricted zone, bureaucrats on Earth has demanded each module be equipped with a booster package mounted on the end facing the power arrays - a booster package powerful enough to force the modules out of orbit within 120 seconds. Those boosters had not come cheap.
"What's the one thing you miss most about being groundside?" he continued. "The crowds? The constant ID-checking? Maybe it's the air?"
"No, I miss the food," said Dora, her eyes tearing up and wistfulness thickening her voice. "I really do. Look at me, I'm tearing up over the idea of a cheeseburger or a pizza and a salad."
"Me too. I'm a hard-working man. Mama always told me a strong man needs his food. I'd give my right arm for some fried chicken, although I'll not say no to Mongolian Barbecue or, yes, even a slice of hot, fresh pizza; make mine with plenty of mushrooms, onions, some of that linguica sausage and canadian bacon."
"Exactly! We miss the food. And while each of us has our favorite dishes, there isn't a one of us up here who hasn't eaten pizza and loved it."
"So? Bro', I don't know if anyone told you, but it's a long way for the pizza guy to come and make a delivery."
"What if we made our own pizza?" Dermot asked. "What if we turned one of our modules into a pizzeria, complete with brick oven, tables and even some game systems?" All we have to do is figure out how to heat the oven. The rest can be ordered up. Onions, peppers, tomatoes, they can all be grown up here. The cheese we'll have to ship up, but like the meat, we can order it in bulk form and slice and shred it up here. That leaves the flour, seasonings, oil and water. Again, we can order in bulk - even the cartons of egg substitute. Sure, we're going to have to charge more than what they'd pay down there, but it will still be cheaper than trying to have whole pizzas shipped up here."
"I like the idea," Dora said, "Everyone complains that there's nothing to do, no place to go except to the break rooms and the cafeteria. This would give them another place to go, some place different. And it would not be OPS property."
"I don't know... It could work, but it might be a bit more than we can chew, right now. We need to get some experience with the habitats, clean them out, bring in some other money."
"For that, we have Ellen's idea." Dermot nodded to her.
"What's that, girl? You can tell me; I won't bite."
"As if!" she said. "Now Dora, Dora I would trust not to bite."
"You wound me! I have her bite marks right here, and there ain't none on her."
"Just kill me now, J'Shawn. And I have a few you forgot about." Dora turned to Ellen, smiling. "Go on, ignore the brute. Tell Mama Dora your idea."
"I had the same concerns as J'Shawn, about the pizzeria, I mean. We would have to take a lot of time, finding suppliers, coming up with a working brick oven, learning how to make pizza. That's time we're not recouping our costs by bringing in an income from our habitat modules."
"My idea is to use one of the modules as a repair shop for crippled satellites. We could go out, retrieve them, swap out old and failing boards and recharge their maneuvering tanks, then place them back in orbit. Obviously, we'd have to do the first few 'on spec' and we'd have to choose ones which are small enough for the scooters, the ones included with the habitats, to handle. But as our reputation grows, we could upgrade to larger craft and start charging an up-front fee for each one 'recovered' and 'repaired'."
"I get it. And we can plough part of our profits back into our other idea - ideas, I should say, because I'm sure we'll have more. I can get behind this. And with this one working I can even get behind the pizzeria." He stopped and waggled his eyebrows at them, "But we better hurry 'cause when everybody sees us working on a pizza oven, they're gonna start a stampede our way."
"Do you have any other ideas for those modules? Because each habitat is something like eighty feet long and forty feet wide. That's a lot of cubage to use. If we rotated them around their long axis, say even five rotations per minute, we could simulate about 0.1g at the rim. Enough to keep things in place from centripedal force. Among other things, we could maybe build a truck garden in one, complete with veggies, fruit and maybe even a honeybee hive."
"Do you like to garden?" Dermot asked, wondering how he'd not discovered this about J'Shawn.
"Not me. But given the number of people up here, I'll lay odds several do. And some of those may know about raising fruit bushes and trees as well as all sorts of vegetable crops. Wouldn't you want to have fresh fruit and maybe veggies that haven't been either frozen or dried to the point of flavorlessness?"
Through all of this, Dora had taken notes, but with the latest turn in the discussion, she added, "Guys! Please! No mention of fresh fruit. I'd just about kill to have a fresh grapefruit; I'd eat it like you would an orange and skip the sugar just to have one in front of me"
"Me too! Not the grapefruit, but some honeydew melon or cantaloupe would do the trick. And I think Dora and I are a pretty good representation of what all the women up here crave. Yes, we get nutritious, wholesome, well-balanced meals, but none of it is fresh!"
"Those are actually good ideas. We could ask someone to send us a mix of fresh, whole fruit picked from dwarf fruit trees. Then we could save the seeds." Dermot turned to Ellen, "Didn't you say your mother loved to give out fruit from her trees to people in her neighborhood? Could you ask her to send some up, we'd all chip in on the cost of shipping. Is that okay?"
"Okay, that accounts for three of the four habitat modules. Do we know what we want to use the fourth one for? Or are we going to wait a bit until a good idea comes along?" asked Dora.
"We could put in eight levels of office space and rent some of it out to others who want to put people up here." J'Shawn suggested. "I'd want to keep at least one office for our own operations. In fact, given the size of these things, there's really no reason we can't make about half of the pizzeria module into freezer space and storage lockers for rent."
"Great idea!" She entered more notes into her notepad. "Okay, these ideas give us something to think about. We don't need to rush into any of them until we feel confident we can either get the supplies and equipment, but we can start setting up the skeleton of a business plan and timeline for each of them."
In the pause that followed, J'Shawn rubbed the back of his neck, clearly fumbling for words that seemed to fix in his throat. Finally, he spoke, looking down and not meeting their eyes.
"I've been meaning to bring this up, but Singhman had me into his office just before shift today. He's asking me to consider advanced pilot training."
"You mean the shuttles? He wants to send you to flight school?" Dora was stunned, she thought they had plans, plans including each other.
"No. No, not full flight school, but advance orbit-to-orbit training. Seem's my football reflexes are still good. It won't mean going back down, but the school runs nearly two months. So I won't be working the regular assembly shift. I'll stay right where I am, I just won't be working in our group for a couple of months, that's all." He watched Dora's face, trying to gauge her reaction to the news. At first, she had seemed appalled, but apparently the rest of his statement had calmed her down.
" I was meaning to tell you, Dora, but I just thought it would be better if all of you heard it in one go-round. That's why I didn't say anything earlier." He paused. "Well, that and I wasn't sure I wanted to take the training. But if we are going to do this, the pizza shop, the garden, offices and repair shop. I think one of us had better get as much flight training as possible on their dime. Is that okay, by you?"
Dermot caught the small negative shake of Ellen's head and refrained from letting J'Shawn know he supported the idea. Instead, all three waited to see what Dora would say.
"I... guess that's... Hell! I'm pissed you could not say a word through the whole shift, nor even afterwords, when we got back here! You were quick enough to have sex with me, but you couldn't let me know you were going to split up the group?"
"Baby. No. It wasn't like that. Until Patrick and Ellen came in here to talk about these ideas they had, I was gonna turn him down. And I was gonna do that because I don't want to split up our team. You know I love you, Babe. I figured since I was gonna turn him down there wasn't any reason to even bring it up."
"If you love me, you should have talked to me about it, even so!" she shouted.
"You're right. I should have. And I won't forget that. I promise you, I won't forget that." He shrugged, helpless, "I've never really had to share things like this with anyone before. So I don't always know how to handle them. Can you forgive me for being stupid?"
Anger fought a losing battle with acceptance across her face. "You big dope. You're forgiven. And don't go calling yourself stupid. Ignorant, ill-advise, un-trained, but never stupid." She pushed off and floated into his waiting arms. "As if I could keep up an angry snit against you for a decent length of time."


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