Chapter 14: The Good in the Middle of the Not-So-Good

One good thing came out of being kidnapped, held captive on a foreign planet, and forced to become Arvid’s girlfriend. It brought Aksel and me closer together.

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I know, right? It is the weirdest way that any two people have ever gotten together, probably. But during all those hours together caring for Arvid’s garden and sleeping in the same bed, Aksel and I had a lot of time to get to know each other. He was kind, and soft-spoken, and smart. Really smart. I mean, practically as intelligent as me. We didn’t own a chess board, but I had this strange feeling that Aksel could probably hold his own, even against the Great Xi-feng, Junior Chess Champion of China.

What we did have, thanks to Arvid’s new sense of generosity, was a set of dominos. I had never played dominos before, but I picked it up quickly. Soon, Aksel and I became huge domino rivals. It didn’t require as much intellect or strategy as chess, but there was something very satisfying about slamming those ivory rectangles sown against the wood.

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One day, Arvid surprised us with two brand-new fishing poles, and permission to go to the small lake behind our property. “The fish will make good fertilizer for my plants,” he explained. I blushed, suspecting that the poles were actually a token of appreciation for the things I did for him in bed.

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Still, being able to go fishing each evening with Aksel brought such a wonderful sense of freedom. Instead of the four walls of our small house or the endless rows of plants to care for, we were surrounded by nature – cool, sparkling water, oddly colored trees, and strange, crystal-like rocks that pulsed with a phosphorescent glow. One night, we even came across a creature that looked almost exactly like a deer from earth.

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It was there in the midst of that serene and alien beauty that Aksel first confessed that he was falling for me. And it was there, beneath the canopy of blue and purple leaves, that I pulled him close and kissed him. His mouth was soft and warm – nothing like Arvid’s hard, crushing lips.

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Fishing was forgotten that afternoon as we stayed there kissing, stroking, wanting more of each other. Then, at nightfall, we returned home and spent the rest of the night making love.

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