“Sasha stop!” Gillian shouted into the dark as he rushed back to her. “You must leave the map behind. We have to get out of this god-forsaken cave. There’s no time left. We have to leave, now!”
“But we can’t just leave the map! It’s our only chance to find the portal home. Without it we are stuck here alone.” Sasha sobbed pounding the dirt with a fist.
“We have no choice. We’ll figure something else out. Now come before we are crushed to death.” He said extending his hand, which she reluctantly grasped, so that he could guide her through the winding darkness of the cave.
The thunderous sounds of the earth shifting and slipping echoed all around them. Like a rainstorm, the dirt hailed down on them and stones dislodged from the walls and ceiling, threatening to close in on them with every step.
“Do you remember the way?” Sasha asked.
“I hope so. I think we want to take the left tunnel up ahead and then…”
“You’re not sure are you? Brilliant, just brilliant. What if we go the wrong way?”
“Then darling, I’m afraid we are screwed.” Gillian said with a grunt as he swung Sasha forward using more power than necessary and slammed her dainty frame up against the opposite wall. The hard impact expelled the air from her lungs through a dusty wheeze. Pressing his body in firmly against hers, substituting his own flesh and bones as a shield to protect what was his. He folded his arms over her shoulders, pressed his forehead against the wall and tucked the top of her head under his chin as a boulder being chased by a landslide of angry earth bounced by.
Once the boulder passed and the landslide of dirt came to a near halt, Gillian pulled back just enough to look down to see Sasha’s glowing cornflower blue eyes staring up at him with fear. Even the darkness didn’t betray how frightened she was. One look into her eye’s and he always knew the truth – they were incapable of deceit.
After a few lost seconds in her eyes, he felt her whole body trembling before it registered, then he murmured, “Shhh it’s okay. I’ve got you.” Gillian embraced her fully in his arms and pressed a trail of soft, calming kisses along her hair, forehead, cheek, tip of her nose and finally against her plump full lips that shivered with fear. Applying enough pressure and dominance to comfort her and remind her that she was cared for and protected. Once the trembling ceased, he hovered over her lips and whispered, “Let’s get out of this cave without any injuries, so that I can take you back to the hotel and …” Despite the vast danger they were in, he was helpless against her charms and the effects they had on his carnal cravings. Letting out a groan of appreciation he continued, “Let’s get out of here, so that I can take care of you properly. I will feed, bathe and cherish you tonight. Then tomorrow, not before, we can sort everything else out. Okay?” With a nod of agreement, he led her safely out of the cave, and to the road where they left the car. Each lost in their own thoughts; they traveled back to the hotel in compatible silence. Neither of them compelled to fill the space with meaningless words. They took comfort in their nearness. For nearly six months they sought after a portal that would return them to their world filled with families and friends. Another failed attempt weighed heavily on them both. Even so, they never blamed nor took their frustrations out one another. At times like this mutual silence was welcomed and respected.
Back in their hotel room, Gillian paced as he tried to reign in his anger and disappointment. Forcing himself to shake it off, he stopped in front of Sasha and pulled her from the chair for a strong hug. They were right back where the started, square one. Nowhere. He needed to focus on something more enjoyable and asked, “Do you want bubbles in your bath?” In response Sasha clung to him more tightly, as the trust and love she felt for him infused every fiber of her being. In this moment she knew what she wanted and needed more than anything else was to build a home with this man, and it didn’t matter where they were as long as they were together. “Well, bubbles or no bubbles?” He prompted.
“Gillian, what I want. No, what I need is to take a bath in our home not in the hotel of the week.” Tears filled her eyes and spilled over. She swiped at the waterworks that were quickly streaming down her cheeks. “How long are you willing to keep hunting? What if we never find a portal, then what?” She implored him through her tears.
“Nonsense. We will continue to search every crack and crevice of this hemisphere until we find a portal to take us home. This I promise you!”
“I’m tired. I’m really, really tired of searching. Can we just make this our home, please?”
Bewildered he pushed her hands away, wiped her tears and held her in place as he searched deep into her eyes for the true meaning behind her words. What he saw first was exhaustion and below that sincere hope. A hope for their future together, a hope for a real home – a sanctuary of their very own where they could build their lives and raise their kin. The thing he wanted most was to see her happy, and this he could give her easily. It was as good as done the moment she uttered the words.
“Darling, we can live anywhere you want. As long as you are with me, always.” Her eyes twinkled in delight, and neither of them could look away as they were both enthralled. Both oblivious to the rising mist, and colors that reflected about the room. Sasha licked her lips and Gillian responded to the invitation and covered her lips, licking at the seam, coaxing her to let him in for a taste. She complied and he basked in the glorious heat of her mouth and the way she welcomed him, stroked his tongue against hers. Driving him mad with desire, he deepened the kiss and shuffled a few steps back toward the bed.
Disoriented, he broke the kiss off long enough to gauge their proximity to the bed. Upon opening his eyes he was struck with an intense dizzy spell. Partially from their heated kiss no doubt, but his vision was assaulted with an array of colors and patterns. He felt a sensation of falling and spinning through the tight confines of a kaleidoscope tube as a wave of nausea assailed him. Without pause, he pulled Sasha into a tight protective embrace. As they held on to each other they dimly heard his mother, “I knew you guys were true,” and then her Father, “Son, I’m so proud of you. Take care of my baby girl, always.” The swirling colors began to fade and then they were slingshot into blackness before landing in… their bed? An anxious glance around the room confirmed they were finally home where they longed to be.
On that night, a celebration was held in their honor. After dinner, a toast was made proclaiming, “Each of you holds one half of the key. May it be whole for an eternity.” The power to open a portal was contained within their beating hearts. Once they surrendered to circumstance and destroyed all barriers the power was bestowed upon them.