To be truly alive, you need to be one with yourself; to feel complete, assured, and with a belief that you matter to someone, even if that someone is only you. But I had more than me; I had Sean, the seamless glue that held the me together.
Ordinary things became magical with him by my side, as if I were experiencing the world for the first time. Our time together in the cabin, once claustrophobic and confining, now became a cozy love nest, and I felt like I never wanted to leave. The wintery woods were embracing, no longer menacing, and the walks he and I took together were always enchanting adventures. But of all, I cherished the nights the most. Holding each other as we fell asleep, the nightmares came no more. Sleep became a delectable indulgence, instead of a gruesome torment.
And when Sam gave us the camera, I became a kid in an amusement park where all the rides were free. Taking photos was like getting something back that I had once lost. It added to my feeling of wholeness, knowing I was good at something.
Then one day, our private bubble of happiness burst. It was early morning, with a thick mist hugging the ground.
"They're here," I told him.
"Who's here?" he asked.
I gave him some time for it to sink in. He jumped to the window and gazed out for a few moments. "I don't see anyone."
"I see them... in the forest...in my mind I see them. I hear their boots crunching on the snow. They're very near."
I could see the look of fear on Sean's face. He knew enough about my, or if you will, Anisa's, special abilities to believe what I was telling him. He looked at me with a concerned expression. "Should we go under the crawl space and sneak out from there? The idea you mentioned a couple of weeks ago?" he asked in a shaky voice.
"No. We can't be running away, looking over our shoulders for the rest of our lives. It ends here."
Sean went into the bedroom and came out with the gun in his hand.
"We won't need that," I told him.
Despite what I said, he shoved the gun into his pants pocket. "So what are we going to do, invite them in for a cup of hot chocolate?"
His sarcasm didn't annoy me. I knew it was out of the panic he felt.
"That's not a bad idea; have a heart to heart. Of course The General won't come in, but we could still have that heart to heart."
I stood up and went to the door.
"Belinda, please don't."
"Are you afraid, Sean?"
"Yes. Afraid of losing you. They'll have to kill me before they take you away from me."
You don't know how wonderful that made me feel. Or perhaps you do. I smiled. Whatever happens, I know that in the short time I've been alive, I'd obtained something not everyone achieves in a lifetime. I felt fulfilled. "I don't think it will come to that."
I took a deep breath, opened the door, stepped onto the porch, and stared out at the swirling fog. I took another deep breath...then another, before I shouted, "General, I know you're here!"
Slowly, he materialized out of the mist, his hands in his overcoat pockets, his head covered in an aviator style Russian bomber hat with ear flaps. "Of course you do. That's precisely why we're here; because you can know things like that...Belinda...Belinda McMurphy."
Sean was standing right beside me, and I could see he was taken aback at the general knowing who I was.
"Don't ever mention my father's surname again."
General X smiled; a sadistic half-smile, a Hannibal Lecter kind of smile. "I apologize." He looked at Sean. "Congratulations, Doctor. You've brought her back. And without self-destructing, I might add."
"We're inviting you inside for some hot chocolate," Sean said in a rather nasty tone. "How about it?"
"Afraid no can do. That would make my men edgy, and we wouldn't want that, would we?"
I turned my head to Sean. "Be careful. There are about ten commandos hidden in the woods just ahead with their EM weapons trained on us, and there are a few in the back of the cabin as well."
"What do you want?" Sean addressed the general, not in the least intimidated.
"Simple. We want to know how you did it. We never could successfully deprogram one of our...protégés...or rather, I should say, one who could survive through the process." The vapor from his breath floated in the air in front of him like fumes from a dragon's mouth.
"Why would I want to help psychopaths like you?"
"You have the wrong impression of us. We're the good guys, not the bad guys. Don't you think our enemies have people like Belinda? Now, if we could deprogram them..."
"And then what?" I asked belligerently. "Help them get back on their feet and lead normal lives?"
"No, of course not. We would send them back to the enemy, reprogrammed to work for us, naturally."
I had enough. "You've overstayed your welcome General. You and your men get out of here."
"Belinda, you of all people...do you think we would make all this effort, costing a few millions of the taxpayer's money, just to leave...just like that...do you, now...really?"
"We still have that file in the safety deposit box."
"I'm afraid that's not quite enough leverage."
I stood quietly, concentrating.
Luckily, Sean distracted him. "So you must have some ideas. Just how did I do it?"
"Hypnosis, drugs, a soothing voice, tinged with compassion perhaps, suggestive persuasion...good sex..."
"Yes, all that. But there's a missing ingredient which your people could never provide."
That's it Sean, keep distracting him. It was as if we were reading each other's minds. I kept focusing on what I had to focus on: the EM guns, how to disable them.
"And exactly what is that?" the General asked in a haughty manner.
"Love. I loved Katrina...and Cherry...and Anisa, and now, more than any of them, I love Belinda."
Thank you Sean, I thought to myself, taking just a fleeting moment away from my concentration, for buying me some more time. And of course, thank you for loving me.
"You and Belinda are coming with us, one way or another, so let's stop the petty bickering."
Sean didn't answer him. Neither did I.
After a minute or so of this, the general grew uneasy. "Belinda? Belinda, what are you doing?"
That was enough time for me to have competed my task. "General, all of your men's EM weapons are disabled. The Rx transistors are frozen, and they are now inoperable."
General X looked around him. "FIRE ON THE TWO TARGETS!"
Nothing happened. Sean and I both stood there in the snow, still unfazed.
"Now," I told him, "the only option is to go hand to hand. Do you want to try that really? You have about ten combatants in front, and seven in the back of the cabin. You know I can take out four of your guys within seconds in a close encounter, right? You've seen me do it multiple times as Anisa, correct?"
The general nodded his head affirmatively.
"And Sean has a thirty-eight fully loaded with eight rounds."
The general stood frozen - a good sign.
"And, if I have to, I'll use the death stare; in fact, I just may start with you right now."
"Belinda, listen, I am not acting on my own, I have superiors also and they..."
At that moment, a great roar was heard resounding through the mist-laden air. Seconds later, shadowy figures could be seen running through the haziness, some of them yelling as a large dark shape loomed behind the general, a huge grizzly bear.
He whirled around in a panic. "Stop the bear Anisa, you know you can!"
In his panic, he called me Anisa, which only amused me. "Sorry," I said, grinning, "but I don't believe in mind control."
Mama bear stood up on her hind legs, letting out a bellow so forceful, you could smell her stinky breath.
I couldn't help but throw in a quip. "It seems your fellows have disturbed a sleeping bear, and you know, when you do that they wake up in a foul mood."
"Stop the animal, Belinda, Anisa, whoever you are..."
I walked towards Mama Grizzley."Whoa!" I shouted, putting my hands up, and the bear calmed down, back on all fours, but still growling. I patted her on the head. "Go back to sleep." After giving me a few licks on my face, she turned and began her slog up the hill. Turning toward the general, I said, "Leave General, leave here and leave us alone for the rest of our lives."
"FALL BACK INTO POSITION!" he shouted out. To me he said, "I make no promises for the future, but I for one will certainly leave you alone. I've had enough of you, Katrina, Cherry, Anisa...all of you. However, I doubt my superiors feel the same way. To them, you're still a loose end."
The soldiers, now visible in the dissipating mist, returned to their positions among the trees. The general about faced. "Goodbye Belinda," he said from behind his back, "goodbye Dr. Paisley." And then he walked away. "DISENGAGE!"
Title: Girl Within Girl Book 2: Healing
Author: S.P. Aruna
Genre: Erotic Thriller
Trapped in a mountain cabin with three, possible four, women….every guy’s dream, right? Or could it turn out to be a nightmare?
Dr. Sean Paisley needs to find out how to bring these women together – his survival depends on it. To make matters worse, he’s in love with all of them….made passionate love to all of them. Throw in a nasty grizzly bear and the dark forces of the government and the situation becomes even more dire.
In the end, he was stuck with Belinda, a hysterical, suicidal, homicidal maniac of a person, confined together in the wilderness of the onset of winter. Now both their lives are at stake.
I’m a Cambodian woman of mixed blood, married to an aspiring author, and of course he had something to do with my idea to write entertaining fiction. We live in a little green house in the countryside in southern Cambodia. No kids yet, but we’re working on it.
I live on a large plot of land and I enjoy taking care of my trees, plants, and flowers. I also love embroidery, stitching to make beautiful pictures. It’s very meditative for me. And then I frame them and put them all over the walls of my house, which drives my husband crazy.
I’m a newbie when it comes to being an author, but being an avid reader with eclectic tastes (I enjoy reading just about any genre as well as non-fiction) has helped me in my plunge to write commercial fiction. Since I love erotic thriller type films, I decided to write an erotic thriller series. I like the challenge of devising a strong plot to embed my sexy scenes.
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