The Artifact (Book 2, Time Series)

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Chapter Seventeen: We're Both Sorry

July 2023
Morgan’s Home
Richmond City, Virginia

}}}-----> WAHYA <-----{{{

Splashing his face with water from the bathroom faucet, Wahya breathes out long and heavy, studying his reflection in the mirror, “By the power of the Great Spirit, what has gotten into me?! You’re acting like a teenager with no self-control or like you’ve never been around a woman before. You have to get to know her a little before grabbing onto her hips like that!”

He tries to rid his mind of Morgan’s hypnotically intoxicating effects, but his raging hard-on isn’t letting him off so easily. Drinking more cold water from the sink helps ease the trembling of his hands, but his heart rate is nowhere close to subsiding. “It was that damned blowing on my skin she kept doing! I would have been okay if she didn’t do that!”

He tries not to laugh, recalling how Morgan had thought his pained expression was from the stinging liquid medication she had applied - at least he’s pretty sure that’s what she thought. “Sure, it burned like fire, but the pain was over quick enough. Okay, a couple of those cuts hurt quite a bit, but nothing like what her touch was doing to me!”

No, to his chagrin, she was turning him on so badly that it took everything inside him not to make a fool of himself and either tell her to back off, or physically do something about it - and she probably wouldn’t have appreciated that, “Or would she? She was getting awfully close to crossing the line herself right before that talking-box went off and snapped us both out of whatever that was.”

He takes another deep breath, letting the air out more slowly, trying to regroup, “I need to be focusing on my situation here in this new world, not on Morgan. If this is part of my spiritual journey to the Afterlife, then I need to concentrate on learning everything I can while I am here - there has got to be a reason that I am here.”

Then he shakes his head with a smirk, “That is easier said than done when your guide in this Spirit World is Morgan. She’s bubbly and talkative and acts as though we are old friends. And she’s obviously attractive with her unusual looks.”

I was apparent that she’s attracted to him as well, yet he reminds himself that they’d only met this morning, “The way she sped out of here, I think that kissing so soon is going a bit fast for her people, too.”

He can hear her talking to whoever interrupted them - her tone sounds hurried and nervous. Though he can’t hear the person on the other end, he worries that she may have a husband coming home. And this thought is just the trick to finally relax his still-stiff manhood, as he tries to tell himself that he has no justification in feeling outright jealousy over the possibility of her being married.

Startled from his thoughts, Wahya jumps at the sudden, quiet knock on the bathroom door. Morgan, apparently done talking, pokes her head in the doorway, smiling softly, yet nervously, “I’m sorry for...”

She gestures to the toilet where “it” happened, and he knows she means to apologize for what transpired between them only moments ago. He recalls how she kept repeating the word “sorry” each time she thought she was going to cause him pain moments ago when treating his scratches, and he’s sure the word is an apology.

Now he’s sure she must either be married or promised to someone, as there’s no reason to be sorry otherwise, beyond the fact that they were going a bit - okay, a lot - fast. Surely, it’s not normal to feel that lustful so quickly after meeting someone. But he still reasons that she shouldn’t feel bad, “I’m just as much to blame, if not more so than her.”

It’s his turn to apologize. “Uyo ayelvdi,” he says in Tsalagi, then putting his hand on his bare chest he continues brokenly in English, “Wahya so-rry.”

He feels badly that she blames herself. After all, he was the one who baited her by finding new and very inconsequential ‘injuries’ for her to ‘sooth.’ She was simply doing some goodwill by patching him up, not trying to come on to him. “What was I doing, setting her up like that?!”

Morgan flushes again slightly at his apology then seems to overcome her embarrassment as she opens the door completely, “Well, I’m still sorry, and I guess we’re on the same page as far as that goes. Maybe we can just drop it and move on?”

He doesn’t understand her words but can see her face relaxing and her nervousness somewhat dissipating and determines that she’s coming around. “At least she isn’t mad at me,” he thinks with relief.

“Well, we have to go meet James and Samantha.” She states, then signals for eating, “Food?” Wahya, feeling hungry now, nods in agreement to the idea of supper.

Leading him out of the bathroom, she shows him all the shirts they’d purchased from the boutique, and he selects the blue long sleeve shirt with the snaps. Not only is blue his favorite color, but the material is soft, and yet thick enough to keep the cold off inside the chilly buildings.

Morgan grabs her purse and the keys, locking the bright red door behind them as they climb back into her little SUV in the driveway. Wahya, happy to be able to ride in her car again, settles into the passenger seat - seat belt and all, before she can even start the engine.

Still awkwardly quiet - for Morgan - he tries to ease the tension and says in his tongue, “So, when will you teach me how to drive this thing?” He points to himself and then holds his hands up as though he were grasping an imaginary steering wheel in front of him. He gives her a knowing smirk to be sure she knows he’s teasing, and she suddenly laughs out loud.

Relief floods over both of them at the physical break in tension, and Morgan shakes her head emphatically, still laughing, “Ohhh, no! No driving for you! I have a feeling you’d get a speeding ticket your first day on the road!”

Wahya smiles and looks out the window, taking in the numerous houses they pass and wonders how Morgan knows which roads to take. Being summer, the sun is still relatively high for evening, but he can feel that the light is changing as they make their way down several streets of varying sizes, all full of traffic.

Only minutes later, they pull into the driveway of another house, and as they exit the car, James opens the front door to meet them.

“You made it!” James smiles from the front stoop, then to Wahya directly he hesitantly says, “Osiyo?”

Wahya freezes momentarily and waits - hoping James will repeat what he’d just said, for surely he didn’t say what he just thought he did!

“Osiyo,” James does repeat the word and Wahya’s breath catches.

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