They drove to Brett’s apartment in silence. Everything she saw still awed Mickaila, and she spent her time gazing out of the window.
They pulled up to his apartment, and he watched as she let herself out of the car and even managed to lock it. By the time he got out of the car and headed for the trunk, she stared at the sky. When she didn’t move, he called her name. She glanced at him in surprise.
“What is it with the sky?” His gaze never left her face as he unlocked the trunk.
Mickaila stared at him for a while before looking back up at the sky with a shrug. Brett obviously took the beauty of his world for granted. “In my world the sky is not this beautiful. The ozone layer is almost completely gone, and the air is toxic. It is not this magnificent blue with white clouds but a light purple.” She stopped and took a deep breath, the tears in her eyes surprising Brett. “At least I was told you could not breathe it. I had never been out of the compound before this. That is why I enjoy the air so much. I am used to recycled air.” She paused to take a deep breath. “Not this. I can smell so much. Probably things you are so used to that you do not even smell anymore. I can smell the flowers and the leaves.”
And the smog, Brett finished the sentence in his mind and smiled. Taking a deep breath himself, he shrugged. It wasn’t that bad right then. He looked back to Mickaila as she knelt down and pulled some grass, placing it to her face. “I can smell this. Mostly, what I can smell I cannot even identify.” Still kneeling, she looked up at Brett. As he glanced down at her, he saw a tear slide down her cheek.
Brett stared at the tear for a moment. Without realizing he did it, he walked over to her and knelt down in front of her. Taking the grass from her fingers, he lifted it to his face and inhaled.
“You don’t have grass where you come from?”
She shook her head. “We have trees and plants, but everything smells different here.”
Brett had the strongest urge to take her in his arms and kiss her. He wanted to teach her everything, but how would she respond? Would she welcome his embrace or would his boldness scare her? She was more naive than any virgin he had ever known.
Instead he reached out his hand and wiped the tear away, drawing his fingers across her cheek as he withdrew. He then held out his hand. Mickaila paused and then put her hand in his. As they stood, Brett felt reluctant to let go of her hand. Mickaila looked down at their joined hands, then lifted them and pressed his hand to her mouth. Brett’s eyes widened as she kissed his palm. Still holding his hand, she looked into his eyes.
“That was a kiss?”
He nodded. “One form of it.”
“What other forms are there?”
Brett shrugged, and Mickaila smiled as she stepped closer. Leaning toward him, she kissed him lightly on the mouth.
“Is that the only other one?”
The groan formed in his throat and moved upward. Mickaila’s eyes slightly widened at the sound, but they flew open as his arms came around her and pressed her against his hard body. She tilted her head for the kiss but was surprised when she felt his tongue move into her mouth. She tried to push away, but Brett tightened his grip as he moved one hand up her back to her neck.
Mickaila was shocked. She certainly hadn’t read anything about what Brett did to her. After the shock started to wear off, she became aware of other feelings. She could feel his hands caressing her back and neck, and his mouth caused strange sensations to erupt in her body. She couldn’t identify the new feelings, but she began to feel warm all over and maybe even a little dizzy. She tentatively began to meet his tongue with her own and closed her eyes to press her body even closer.
When Brett finally pulled back, Mickaila opened her eyes and met his gaze. They were mere inches apart, and she slowly became aware that her arms were locked behind his neck. She couldn’t recall putting them there. As she unsteadily took a step back, her cheeks felt hot. Actually, her whole body felt hot. Was she sick? She had never had a cold her whole life. Was the air bad for her? She hadn’t thought about that. There might be airborne bacteria that her immune system would be unable to fight off. She wavered and Brett clasped a hand to her arm.
“Are you OK?”
“I do not think so. I feel strange.” The more she thought about something attacking her immune system, the more worried she became. Of course, it would be the one thing neither she nor Dexter had thought of that ended up ruining her mission.
Brett smiled as he realized what she meant. That kiss had him unbalanced as well. He had never felt such strong chemistry with a woman before. When the thought crossed his mind to take her right there in the parking lot, he had pulled away.
“You feel warm and your body is tingling?”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“There’s nothing wrong with you. What you feel is desire.”
“Desire?” Her head was already clearing up and the warmth slowly dissipated. “I think I need to read that dictionary.”
Brett chuckled. For someone with no experience, she surely knew how to respond. She was obviously a fast learner.
“We better get everything inside.”
She nodded as she walked to his trunk. Between the two of them, they managed to get every-thing inside with one trip. They carried it all into the closet in Brett’s bedroom.
They walked back into the living room. On impulse he walked to his desk and picked up his dictionary. He flipped through the pages until he found the word he looked for. He handed the open book to Mickaila.
“Here’s the definition of desire.” He pointed to the appropriate column.
She sat at his desk and scanned the column until she found the word, and then she read the long definition. At first it didn’t make much sense, but then she got to the last few sentences.
1. Conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in the attainment. 2. Longing, craving; sexual urge or appetite.
She stopped at that point. She had a sexual urge? Flipping through the pages, she looked up sex. Scanning the definition she stopped on intercourse and to arouse the sexual desires of. She then looked up intercourse. After looking up a few more words, Mickaila came to the conclusion that she was sexually attracted to Brett. She just needed to know exactly what sex entailed.
Mickaila closed the dictionary and rose to replace the book on the shelf. Brett had gone into the kitchen to make a cup of instant coffee. When he walked back into the living room, she was practically blushing.
“So, you discovered what desire means?”
She slowly nodded, and he chuckled. The blush was certainly becoming.
“Did you have your brother change his flight?” She asked him.
Brett stared at her for a moment before he realized what she meant. He had almost forgotten about it. “I don’t know.” Brett walked over to the phone and checked his answering machine, but there weren’t any messages. “Well, they didn’t call while we were out. If he didn’t change it, I can only hope you are crazy.” He had humored her all day about being from the future, but he still didn’t believe it. How could he? “What time did you say it crashes?”
“It was cleared for take off at 9:35. It crashed right after take off.”
Brett picked up the remote and turned on the TV. After turning it to the 24-hour news channel, he noticed it was almost 6:00. With the time change, the crash was supposed to happen at 6:35 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. He sat on the couch to wait and watched as Mickaila sat in the chair across from him.
“You wanted to know if my mother is nice, well you’ll be finding out. Her flight gets in around 8:00 tonight. She’s stopping for a few days on her way to Hawaii, where she’ll be vacationing for two weeks. I hear it’s a great place but never really wanted to visit there myself.”
Mickaila smiled. It would be nice to meet his mother. She sat and listened as he talked about growing up with his twin brother. Since they were so engrossed in their conversation, they almost missed the broadcast.
“There it is.” Mickaila pointed and Brett turned up the volume. He slowly stood as he saw the picture of a plane consumed in fire.
“This just in, USAir flight 405 crashed right after take off at LaGuardia Airport in New York. The flight was delayed for over an hour before it was cleared for take off at 9:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. We don’t have the number of casualties as of yet, for the plane is still engulfed in flames. Fire fighters are attempting to control the fire at this time...We will be transferring to…”
Brett’s legs gave out from beneath him. Luckily the couch was behind him, and he landed heavily. He looked up at Mickaila.
“You are from the future...Oh, God, I don’t know if Adam changed flights.” For the first time in his life, he wanted to cry, but he fought the tears fiercely.
Brett stared at her in amazed shock, suddenly afraid of her. This beautiful amazon came from the future, but he almost wished she had been crazy instead.
“Are you the only one who came through time?”
Mickaila smiled, happy that he finally believed her. The smile turned to a frown when his question sunk in. Her eyes dropped to her bracelet.
“As far as I know, yes.”
“What does that mean?”
“It is too complicated to go into.” She hedged.
“Mickaila, why don’t you level with me?”
“It is not necessary for you to know.”
“If we are to be friends, you can’t keep secrets from me. Don’t you want my help? If you aren’t lying to me, you have no one else,” he harshly replied.
Mickaila sighed and looked up at the ceiling. “Brett, I know you are curious and you want to help, but I am not supposed to tell anyone about the future.”
“What about the plane crash?”
“Well, I had to prove myself, and you could not have done anything about that.”
“Well, what’s the point? You are here to change the future. By doing that, you are endangering your very existence. What would it matter what else we change?”
She stared at him and bit her lip. She didn’t like the looks he gave her, but she couldn’t let her growing feelings for him compromise her mission. If she didn’t succeed, she would have left her family in vain. “Because maybe what you change would contradict what I have to change. Then my mission would be a failure. My knowledge of the future is very limited. I only have one chance at this.”
“Why only one chance?”
“I must complete my mission in eight days. If I fail and the chain reaction occurs, I cannot stop it. As I said, my knowledge is limited of the future...If anything happens, the final battle will occur.”
“What do you mean, if anything happens?”
“If something should happen to me.”
“Why would anything happen to you?” At her evasive look, he became impatient. “Damn it, level with me. Are you the only one who came through?”
“I hope so!” She nearly yelled her response, but then clamped her mouth shut. Having spoken it aloud, she could no longer deny the possibility to herself.
Brett opened his mouth but closed it when his eyes moved back to the TV.
“...Rescue operations have begun in an attempt to find survivors. Due to the darkness and coldness of the lake, this could take hours...”
Brett turned it off, but he didn’t want to look up at Mickaila. Terrified the phone would ring; he didn’t want to look at that either. As if on queue, it rang. He sucked in his breath and shook his head. He couldn’t move.
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