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Authors: Iris Astres

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Alien Terrain

BOOK: Alien Terrain
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The Body House:

ALIEN TERRAIN

 
 

Iris Astres

 
 
 

www.loose-id.com

The Body House: Alien Terrain

Copyright © April 2013 by Iris Astres

All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the
original purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be
reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without
prior written permission from Loose Id LLC. Please do not participate in or
encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights.
Purchase only authorized editions.

 

eISBN
9781623003173

Editor: Rory Olsen

Cover Artist: Dar Albert

 

Published in the United States of America

Loose Id LLC

PO Box 809

San Francisco CA 94104-0809

www.loose-id.com

 

This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might
be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names,
characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons,
living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely
coincidental.

Warning

This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult
language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id LLC’s
e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in
which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot
be accessed by under-aged readers.

* * * *

DISCLAIMER: Please do not try any new sexual practice,
especially those that might be found in our BDSM/fetish titles without the
guidance of an experienced practitioner. Neither Loose Id LLC nor its authors
will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury or death resulting from use of
the information contained in any of its titles.

Dedication

To Christopher—A man who’s always known the power of the
pancake.

Acknowledgment

Thanks to my amazing cheerleading squad: Terri, Chuck,
Sabine, Jenny, Cheryl, Katya, Lieza, Matt, and Christopher and Oliver.

Chapter
One

The smell of bacon took the edge off Jane’s sense of
disaster. Enough to make her think the day might go as planned. She stared into
the waves of heat that rose up from the skillet and coached
herself
one final time.
Just walk away and don’t
look back. Good-bye Rick. Good-bye marriage. Hello brand-new life.

“You sure about that bacon, Janey?”
Her husband grabbed a handful of her belly, jiggled it, and let it go. “Pig’s
the universal sign for fat, you know.”

“Ha-ha,” said Jane. She watched while Rick poured out some
coffee,
then
sat down, smirking at her from his chair.
The stomach grabbing was her least favorite example of his teasing, but there
was no point saying anything about it. He’d only swear he liked her chubby,
which was probably true. She made a plate for him and set it
down,
taking her place opposite the man she’d married.

If she left him today, this was the end. Their last
breakfast together, the last words they’d ever say.
Her last
look into Rick Bard’s face.
Five years ago, when he’d proposed, she
thought she’d hit the jackpot. What a cutie he had been—so sweet and shy.

The cute part had been true enough. She still liked men with
gangly, boyish looks. But as for sweet and shy, well, there she might have
missed the mark with her assessment.
Sweet
turned out to be the rosy, love-struck version of Rick’s personality. Five
years of experience had shown her he was only
sweet
when everyone agreed with him. If not, he was childish and
sulky, prone to snipes and silences that put a halt on any real communication.

The shy part was still true, but that timidity was souring a
little too. Desperate for approval, Rick had turned into a follower.
Which might not be so bad if there were better people in these
parts that he could follow.

“I need you to stay out of the garage today.”

Those words not only stopped Jane’s thoughts, they stopped
her heart for half a second. She took a long, slow sip of coffee, loosening up
her throat. “Why’s that?”

“No big deal. Just more work than the boys can handle in the
shop.”

Rick was a bad liar. Every time he tried it, he just hunched
and fidgeted and made up shit no one believed. Jane knew there wasn’t any extra
work in the garage. She also knew her presence there would not be a
distraction. Something else was going on.

She got up, grabbed the coffeepot, and studied his
expression while she poured into her mug. “I’ll need the car,” she said. “I
have to go to Crackerjack’s or we’ll be out of milk and bread by supper. We’re
also damn near out of beer.”

“Nothing’s stopping you from doing that. I pulled the car
out for you last night.
Parked it round the back.”

“How am I supposed to get out back and not go into the
garage?”

He tilted his face up at her. “You go around the side.”

Jane put the coffeepot back in its cradle and started thinking
fast. Did Rick know she was leaving? Was that possible? Why else would he be
doing this to her? He knew she couldn’t stand to walk through all those weeds.

Rick’s chair moved on the tile and she tensed. He put his
arm around her, his fingers wriggling, spiderlike, over her skin. Jane jerked
away and whimpered—she just couldn’t help herself.

“Come on.” He pulled her close. “It’s cold as hell out there
at night. The bugs are dead. You won’t get crawled on, scaredy-cat.”

He went to the door and grabbed his coat. “Get extra beer,”
he said.
“Enough to fill that second fridge.
And make
a pot of chili and some cornbread.”

“Are we having a party?” Jane’s stomach sank a little lower.
She glanced up at her husband, who had that weird grin on his face, the one he
wore when he was covering his nerves with fake enthusiasm.

“Dancer’s coming over with the guys,” he said. “He wants to
make Rick’s Body Shop the Earth
First
headquarters for
all of Southwest Outlands. That’s awesome, right?”

Just
great
.
If Jane had wanted one last reason, there it was. No better
motivation for her absence than Bill Dancer’s presence in their life.

She took Rick’s plate to the sink, washed the yolk away
before it could congeal.

“You
still going
out to look at
that old Ford today?”

Rick grunted an affirmative, got his cap on, and pulled at
the door. “Jake’s coming with me but the other guys will be around.”

“What time do you want dinner?”

The screen door slammed behind Rick as he called “sundown”
over his shoulder. She watched him walk across the dirt and gravel to the barn.

“’Bye, Rick,” she said. And that was it. By sundown she’d be
gone.

But she’d still make the chili for him.

Acting normal was important. Keeping busy was too. Jane
pulled her biggest pot down from the rack and started dicing onions. Three more
hours, then she’d use the bribe of turkey-bacon clubs to occupy the rest of the
mechanics while she got into her car and disappeared. Not a moment too soon if
Earth First was on its way.

Earth Firsters made her skin crawl.

They called themselves protectors of the planet on a sacred
mission to rid Earth of so-called alien invaders. A threat existing largely in
their heads, so far as Jane could see. Four years ago no one had ever heard of
a planet called Backus. Most people would still go a whole lifetime without
setting eyes on a real Bod. The interplanetary visitors had come to Earth to
work in Body Houses—alien brothels where women could hand over money in
exchange for screaming orgasms. Hardly grounds for all the hatred aimed against
the men.

If anyone asked for Jane’s opinion, which didn’t ever
happen, she’d say she’d shoot herself before she paid a man to stick his dick
into her. But hell, if that was what these women were into, she was damned if
she could see the harm. Men had been sleeping with strangers for money since
the dawn of time. How Earth Firsters managed to act scandalized that women did
it too was beyond her.

Of course, Bill Dancer’s talk of sexual vampirism, mind
control, and imminent world domination didn’t do too much to calm anyone down.
She’d heard that madman talk a few times now. Watched while Rick and his
buddies tipped beer bottles back and grumbled their assent.

Dancer was a psycho, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t
captivate a crowd. He knew just how to package things for Outland men—all of
them too bored to dream up better days without someone to show the way. And so
he showed them viciousness and called it bravery. He touted ignorance as a
great source of pride. In just a few weeks he’d convinced them it was their
great mission to go out and kidnap aliens. Tie them up. Beat them. Mutilate and
kill them. “This is the first step,” he told them. “Later we’ll blow up those
brothels—take the fuckers out in one fell swoop.”

Jane finished with the onions, turned the heat on underneath
the pot, and threw them in. On her way back from the pantry, she stopped,
staring out toward the old converted barn.


Don’t go in there,”
Rick had said.

She got some ground beef out of the fridge, opened up the
canned tomatoes. Every fifty seconds her gaze drifted back toward the window.

Don’t go in there.

This was where she’d stood that night. The house had been
dark and she’d been cold in just her nightgown, but she’d watched. She’d made
herself bear witness to it all. They’d dragged the broken body out of the
garage.
Already dead.
She knew that right away. His
limbs had sprawled in ways they wouldn’t have if he’d still been alive. Two of
the boys had tossed him like a sack of dung into the back of Dancer’s truck.
After that, they’d laughed and spit and slapped each other on the back.

Over all the weeks that followed, Jane had heard them
whisper to each other. Sound carried in the drafty, old garage. Each trip she
made out there brought more than she wanted to know. What they’d done. What
they’d do the next time.

Don’t go in there.

Was it happening again? Was there a living, breathing man
out there, waiting to be butchered like the other one?

Jane turned the heat off underneath the pot. A patch of
sunlight hit the
countertop,
and she leaned into it,
face buried in her hands. What had happened to her life? Christ Jesus, what the
hell was happening to the world?

Chapter
Two

Breathe
. Raj
focused on the next slow breath, the easing of his aching muscles, and the
sharpening of his senses. He was alone. The men had gone and left his temporary
prison empty. Now was the time to pool what was left of his stamina and see if
there was some way to survive.

The beating he’d received had been severe. With niggling
curiosity he tried again to name the thing they’d used to bring him down so
quickly.
A plank of wood?
Some iron gardening tool?
Whatever it had been, it was surprisingly effective. The following cascade of
boots was relegated to his dimmest memory. And now there was a rope around his
neck, the length just long enough to keep him raised up on the balls of his
feet, muscles tense and cramping.

As a second option, he could just relax and let the rope
around his neck keep him from breathing. Neither was particularly pleasant, and
so for the moment he was alternating back and forth between the two. To
distract himself from that grim exercise, he worked against the cord that kept
his hands behind his back.

In the temple where he’d grown up, Raj had learned
transcendence of the body. He’d been an able student, his character well suited
to the principles of timeless vision. Now that the adrenaline of the attack had
dissipated, he worked to calm his mind, preparing for an honorable death.

From what he’d understood, that death would come from blood
loss after a crude sexual mutilation. Not the death he’d hoped for, obviously.
Certainly he would prefer not to leave this world surrounded by the unpleasant
men he’d encountered on that deserted highway. But if this was his fate, Raj
knew that he could meet it bravely.

On the other hand, he thought with an experimental tug
against the cord, if he could free himself and
fight, that
would be infinitely better.

The light was dim wherever he was, and one of his eyes was
swollen shut, but with what vision he had left, he examined his surroundings
for a possible escape. The beam that held the rope around his throat was at
least fifteen feet above his head. No chance of swinging himself up that high.
He’d have to climb it. Did he have the strength? He
rose
up high enough to draw a slow, deep breath. Miraculously only one or two of his
ribs felt seriously injured. He was also troubled by great pain in his right
knee. The rest of him could still be counted on.

Raj lowered his body and waited for the blood and strength
to come back to his limbs, so he could concentrate on freeing up his hands.

A sound behind him stopped him cold. He waited. Then he
turned and looked.

It was a woman. She was coming toward him at a frantic pace.
In her hands he saw the bulk of a metallic object and the gleam of something
sharp.

“Quiet.” She was right beside him. A hand pressed to his
mouth, the word a warm vibration on his skin. “I can get you out of here, but
only if we’re fast.” The metal object she’d been carrying was a stool. She
knelt on it, rising quickly to her feet.

Raj didn’t like it. Her position was precarious in
half-a-dozen ways. The stool was swaying underneath her, and the metal grated
on the concrete, loud enough for someone else to hear.

He turned to her, his lips a fraction of an inch from her
rigid body. Above her waistband a smooth patch of skin appeared. Raj took a
long breath, senses waking at her presence. Her scent was fresh without a hint
of sweetness, like a garden with no bloom. She smelled of leaf and sunshine on
tilled earth, but underneath that verdant odor there was fear. Her heart was
pounding. Her breathing ragged. And for the first time since he could remember,
Raj was frightened too.
Stop this. Run to
safety
. He mouthed the words against her skin.

Then the rope snapped and Raj fell hard to the ground.

The woman scrambled down beside him, crawling forward on her
knees. She untangled the makeshift noose and started sawing at the cord, her
mouth close to his cheek. “I’m not going to ask if you can walk because you
have to. I haven’t got the strength to carry you. Nod your head. I want to see
that you can follow me.”

His wrists were free. Raj struggled to his knees. She leaned
away. He felt her strength of will reach out to him.
A
warrior.
Unfaltering.
He smiled inwardly at his
surprising luck. There was no better ally than an angry woman.

Raj got one foot beneath him. That sharp pain in his right
knee almost brought him down again. The left was better, and he lurched upright.
For his reward, her hand closed on his arm and pulled. He let her urgency flow
through him. He used the pain as well. It was worse than imagined, so pervasive
that he barely even limped, no longer certain which part of his body he should
favor.

She pulled him through a doorway into open air and motioned
to the back of a blue car. “It’ll have to be the trunk.”
Again
the urgent whisper, this time with her soft breasts brushing his side.
He caught the fleshy scent of human breath and her crisp smell like winter
turning into spring. Raj, who hated narrow spaces, doubled his broken body into
the ill-smelling darkness she was offering.

A sheet of steel closed with an icy
thud
over his head. He listened while another heavy door opened and
slammed. The engine roared to life.

Ruts and grooves of unpaved road slammed him painfully into
the dark unknown. But his consciousness was clear and pleased. The woman had
been very good. In his mind he heard her last words spoken in a choked and
lovely whisper that still tingled just under his skin.

“It won’t be long.”

* * * *

The good thing about being plump and plain was that the
world was always happy to ignore you. Somehow Jane had navigated the sedan
along the narrow, weed-strewn passage separating the garage from Rick’s new
office trailer. None of the boys stopped chewing long enough to glance her way.

With eyes fixed on the road ahead, Jane still sent up a
smoke screen of false thoughts.
Just another boring trip to Crackerjack’s.
Running out to pick up
beer again.

When she got to the gate, she headed north, the way she
always did. The wounded stranger in her trunk might not appreciate the added
twenty minutes, but it was a lot better than tipping those boys off and sending
someone speeding after them.

No one followed her.

Ten miles south of Nordhup, Jane veered right into the
narrow stretch of dirt that circled the old power plant. Her tires kicked up
clouds of dust that sifted through the windows, the dry dirt smell a heartening
reminder of the other times she’d made the trip.

For almost six weeks, she’d been doubling back along this
road. Each time she’d stored up more supplies. Now she had the hideout stocked.
Almost cozy in its way.
Food and drink had been the
easiest to get. All she had to do was fill her trunk at Crackerjack’s and head
home via this deserted detour. On one of those trips, she’d also thought to buy
some clothes.

Sneaking
her own
stuff out of the
house had been a little harder. Rick hardly had an eagle eye, but sometimes he
noticed the weirdest things. She could just hear him asking her where that red
vase of hers had gone. And so each tea cup, journal, book of poems slipped into
her purse had made her nervous. In the long run, she’d decided not to risk it
and left most of it behind.

Jane shook that off and told herself to focus on the
worn-out track. What was left of the old road made a wide loop through
abandoned fields and finally cut back across Route 68. Not once in all the
times she’d done it had she passed a soul out here. Today was just the same.

When she’d made it back onto the highway, five miles south
of where she’d started, Jane knew she’d pulled it off. The old sedan sped over
ancient asphalt. Fifteen minutes later she was turning in to her new life.
A different empty town.
A different slice
of nowhere.

Home.

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