The cabin by the lake was a perfect place to raise a child. Luke grew fast, much faster than a human child and, by the time he was seven years old, Sys was taking him hunting in the woods and plains around the cabin, bringing back all kinds of animals, which he and Luke ate raw and Dee turned into pies and stews.
Sys turned out to be extremely creative and made all kinds of items , which they sold in the nearby town, to supplement the small income Dee received from investing the money he’d received over the years from people he’d helped. Luke, too, liked to make things, although he preferred to use the skin, fur, bones and teeth of the animals they hunted, to make bags, belts and items of jewellery. In this way they lived very well.
Over those seven years, three other escapees from the research centre turned up on their doorstep and they helped them to recover, grow strong and move on. Sys was particularly affected by the stories of the renegades and he was often sad, even depressed while they were at the cabin and for some time after they’d left.
He was sitting on a rock, staring out over the lake, his chin on his knees. He jumped a little when Dee put his arms around him, from behind. Dee rested his cheek on Sys’ hair and they just sat there, together, for a while.
“Where’ss Luke?” Sys asked softly.
“Hunting.” At nearly eight years old, Luke was almost as tall as his father and just as quick and agile. He was a precocious child, and liked nothing more than to roam the woods, collecting interesting stones and pieces of wood for his crafts. He also liked to hunt, and brought home animals that made Sys freak, like wolves as big as he was and bears he had to drag, because they were too big to carry. He refused to take a gun and hunted with homemade bow and arrows.
Sys sighed. “He sspendss more time in the woodss, than he doess with uss, here.”
“He’s a wild one, Sys; that’s where he belongs.”
“Not with uss?”
“Of course with us. He loves us, but he’s getting older and, one day, he is going to strike out on his own and he’ll make his own way in the world. If we give him space to grow into the man he could be, he’ll make us proud Sys.”
“I know,” Sys sighed again. “It’ss jusst that I misss him when he’ss not with uss. I misss him sso much… sso much...” He sniffed, licking tears from his lips.
Dee sat down next to him and drew up his knees. “You’re not talking about Luke, are you?” Biting his lip, Sys shook his head. “I hope you’re not thinking about his father.”
That got a tiny smile and another shake of his head. “No,” he said, with a huge sigh, “I’m ththinking about my home.”
“You could go back, you know. Maybe we could persuade them to forgive. If Luke’s father can see how happy we are together, that you are not going to…”
“That would never happen, Dee. It would make it even worsse if he ssaw how happy we are.”
“I don’t understand.”
“He’ss a jealouss man. He did not want me, but he would not want anyone elsss to have me eithther. And ass for Luke…” Sys shuddered. “He iss beautiful, Dee. Hiss father would want him. He would take him away from me.”
“He couldn’t do that.”
“I am an exssile, he iss a prinsss. He would take him from me, Dee. No, I cannot go home. I can never go home.”
“Is that why you have been so sad lately?”
“Yes, dear one, you have.”
“I’m ssorry, Dee.” Sys sighed, and looked out over the lake, with a shiver. “It’ss jusst… People come and we help them; and I WANT to help them but… I ssee ththem go home. I ssee Jo’el find the way and I ssee how happy they are and I…”
“You are stuck here with me.”
“Oh no,” Sys cried out, twisting to look at Dee with contrite eyes. “No, Dee. I am not sstuck withth you. I love you. I love being withth you here… and Luke too.” He sighed. “It’sss jusst…”
“Come here,” Dee said softly, and manoeuvred Sys, until he was sitting between his knees. Wrapping his arms around him, Dee laid his cheek on the strange blue hair that never grew. The sun was beginning to set, dying the water deep orange and pink, and the silence was intense.
“We’re your family now,” Dee whispered into Sys’ ear, making him shiver. “I swear to you that wherever we are I’ll make it our home. I’ll protect you and Luke with my life; nothing and no one will hurt you while I live.”
“I know,” Sys murmured, rubbing his cheek on Dee’s shoulder. “I really do. And I am happy, Dee. Here withth you, I am happy.”
“I know, dear one; I know.”
They watched the sun set in silence. Sys was lost in his thoughts, and Dee was lost in him.
The light had taken on that unreal quality that comes just before the sun sets. The moon was already peeping over the mountain and a chill was creeping into the air. Sys shivered and Dee tightened his arms around him.
“I love you, Sys,” he whispered and Sys hissed softly, a sound that Dee had come to realise was the equivalent of the purr of a cat. Dee shivered for a different reason.
Dragging away Sys’ hair, Dee buried his face and kissed his neck and shoulder. Sys continued to hiss and rolled his head to the side, giving him better access.
When Sys tried to turn in his arms, Dee stopped him and wrapped his arms tightly around him, holding him firmly against his chest. Slightly surprised, Sys didn’t fight him, just leaned back against him and relaxed. When he felt a familiar, writhing sensation from under Dee’s t-shirt, he sighed and began to hiss again.
Tentacles spilled out and, instead of wrapping around his waist, as they usually did, some of them wrapped around his thighs, pulling them apart while others probed the waistband of his shorts and slid down, under the elastic.
Sys whimpered, as the sensitive tentacle tips roved across his belly and nudged at the base of his hardening shaft. He whimpered louder when they encircled it and tugged gently. When one probed further, touching his entrance, he moaned aloud.
Moving his hips forward to make access easier, Sys shuddered as the weeping head of his cock rubbed against the cotton of his shorts. He was so glad he wasn’t wearing underpants.
Arching his back, Sys threw his head back so Dee could bend and kiss his lips. He squeaked as the tentacle entered him, losing focus. There was no more room in his mind for thought. All his awareness was fixed on the amazing things Dee was doing to his body.
It was as though Dee had dozens of arms. Some were wrapped around his thighs on the outside of his shorts and some had slipped under the material, to caress the sensitive skin on his inner thighs. Like fingers, they massaged his hot flesh and made him moan. And then there was the one that was wrapped around his shaft, squeezing and stroking up and down, and the one that was squirming over his balls, and the one that was penetrating him and the one… oh God that one was…
Making keening noises he shuddered, not knowing if he should thrust up or back, twisting his head from side to side and clamping his hands convulsively on Dee’s arms.
“Ssh, my darling. Relax. Let me take care of you.”
“Relax? How…how… Mmmm.” Sys’ eyes rolled as the firm, flexible tentacles massaged, tweaked, stroked and penetrated. He was so frenzied he couldn’t keep still. Writhing, flailing, and bucking, he trembled all over. Panting hard, his hands gripped Dee, with a vice-like grip as, for the first time in over seven years he opened to Dee that one place that was usually closed.
Dee cried out as the muscle ring opened and drew him inside. The tips of his tentacles were highly sensitive, especially when engorged with blood, as they were during sex, and the contractions of the muscles were a pleasure that bordered on pain.
Clasping Dee tightly, and gritting his teeth, Sys’ body went rigid in Dee’s arms. He sucked Dee’s tentacle inside, causing Dee to shudder and moan, his eyes clamped shut and his mouth hanging open.
And then Sys convulsed powerfully, knocking Dee over backwards and expelled him forcefully from his body. Rolling away from Dee, Sys curled on his side, writhing and shuddering in the grass.
“Fuck, Sys… Sys are you alright? Did I hurt you?”
Sys uncurled and lay on his back, starting up at Dee, with eyes brighter than the stars that were beginning to appear on the velvety night sky “No, Dee. No, you could never hurt me. That wass beautiful.”
“Sometimes, you scare the fuck out of me when you cum.”
“Ssorry,” Sys said unrepentantly, grinning.
“Liar,” Dee said, mirroring the grin. “Come on, let’s go inside. It’s getting cold out here.”
After taking a shower together, Sys and Dee were sitting in the armchair in front of a roaring fire. Sys was curled up on Dee’s lap, with his head on Dee’s shoulder, half asleep. Both of them jumped out of their skins when the door crashed open. Luke blew in with the blast of cold air.
“Fathther… Dee… Hurry, ththey are coming.”
“Who’ss coming? What’ss wrong.”
“The hunterss fathther. The people from the bad plasse. They know we are here. They are coming for uss. I have led them away but it won’t be long before ththey realisse ththey have been fooled. We musst leave… right NOW.”
Sys was stunned. “Leave? But… but what about our ththingss? Where would we go? What…?”
Dee was far more directive. Gently, setting Sys on his feet, he took command. “Sys, go and get dressed. Throw some clothes in a bag, something we can carry easily. Dress warmly in as many layers of clothes as you can. Luke, gather together anything we can’t live without… lighters, matches, some food that will keep. Put them in the big rucksack. I’ll go call Jo’el.”
“Already done,” Luke gasped. “He’s meeting us at the transfer site.”
Dee looked at Luke in surprise, then laughed. “You never cease to surprise me, little person. You’re growing up so fast.” Father and son shared a moment of deep connection, as they grinned at each other. “Go help your father. I’ll fill the rucksack. Dress warmly. The transfer will be cold.
Nodding, Luke grabbed Sys’ hand and dragged him into the bedroom.
Within ten minutes, they were gathered at the doorway. Sys scanned the cabin with tears in his eyes. “I wass happy here,” he said softly.
“And you’ll be happy somewhere else. I’ll make you happy, I swear. Now go.” He pushed Sys and Luke gently, towards the track, and turned one last time. Flicking a lighter, he touched it to a rag he had soaked in petrol. With a sigh, he threw it into the room where it flared briefly, then caught the mound of cloth in the middle of the floor, and exploded into flames. There was too much at stake, too many secrets in the very wood of the walls for it to be left standing. Not only that, but it would draw the hunters, hopefully giving them time to slip away.
Scanning the darkness with straining eyes, the little family ran across the open space between the lake and the place where the track plunged into the woods. From the direction the hunters would be coming they would be behind the house and hopefully, wouldn’t be seen before they melted into the darkness of the trees.
All three were adept at hunting and tracking. They knew well enough how to cover their tracks, and they did the absolute best they could. It was a little over two miles to the place where they would be meeting Jo’el. He was the co-ordinator of the strictly secret, undercover group; dedicated to helping the aliens, who, more and more frequently, ended up in the hands of the government research facilities or military bases, after having the misfortune to set foot on Earth, either accidentally or in hope of making diplomatic contact.
Recently, far too late for many, word had come, through Jo’el, that Earth had been declared a ‘hostile’ and ‘dangerous’ planet. There would be less deliberate attempts at contact, although the accidental visitors would, no doubt, continue to be pulled into the gravitational orbit and end up on a dissecting table. For many, there was no chance of reprieve or escape, but Jo’el and his little group would continue to fight for those who could be helped.
Even though it was now the darkest part of the night, there was still plenty of moonlight to see by. This was a blessing and a curse. It meant that they could see well enough to move faster, but it also meant that their pursuers could see more clearly to follow.
Luke had told them that he’d seen a group of half a dozen men, dressed in black and carrying guns slung over their shoulders. They seemed to be well trained, and they were talking about finding the cabin and ‘disposing of’ whatever and whoever they found. It didn’t sound as if they knew any more about the group’s activities.
When they got to the end of the track, it turned sharply onto a country road. Crouching in the shadows, they anxiously looked up and down, but saw nothing move. On the other side, a little to their left, was a gate into a field. It was in this field that Jo’el would be waiting.
“What now?” Sys asked in a whisper.
“We can’t sit here all night, wondering if it’s safe,” Dee said firmly. “The road is never going to be less exposed and the gate is never going to be nearer. I don’t think we have anything at all to gain by waiting. Once we’re in the field we can keep under the hedge until Jo’el arrives.”
“So, we go?” Luke asked and, as soon as Dee nodded he was off, bolting across the tarmac for the gate. Sys was a moment behind and Dee moments after. Luke vaulted the gate and disappeared. Sys was right behind, being rather more refined about climbing. It was then that it happened.
Sys had one foot on the gate and had hitched himself up ready to swing his leg over, when there was a loud crack from behind them and Sys fell backwards, knocking Dee over.
“Sys? Sys, what the fuck?” Sys was lying sprawled, unmoving in the shadow of the hedge. Frantically Dee turned him over and brushed the hair out of his face. There was something warm and sticky on his face. His eyes fluttered and his lips twitched. Dee leaned forward to hear, as Sys whispered.
“Luke. Ssave… ssave… Luke. Take… take care…” Sys’ eyes rolled closed and Dee snarled. Grief swelled in his chest, only to be thrust aside by anger like he had never felt before in his life.
Sys was his life, his love. No one, no one, could take that away from him. He’d promised to keep him safe and – thanks to someone; someone out there, he’d failed. Whoever they were; they were not going to get away with it.
Crouching in the shadows, over the body of his fallen lover, Dee froze and waited. Eyes scanning the darkness of the woods, he saw it. It was the tiniest flash, the moonlight glancing off something metallic. With a roar, he launched himself to his feet and across the road. The startled hunter had no chance to do anything as Dee grabbed him by the throat and yanked him out of the trees.
The terrified hunter struggled in his grip and was terrified even further when something burst out of Dee, tearing away the layers of t-shirts he was wearing and punching the hunter like a fist in the stomach. Aided by his lashing hair, Dee’s tentacles wrapped themselves around the man’s neck, tightened, crushing his windpipe, and then twisted with mad strength and broke his neck.
Seeing movement out of the corner of his eye, Dee turned, to see another hunter standing in the road, his gun raised.
Using the first as a shield, Dee roared and ran at the man, throwing his dead colleague at him, and knocking the gun out of his hand. His tentacles writhed before him and grabbed the man around the waist. He jerked the man towards him and squeezed the breath out of him, pinning his arms to his sides. Before he could do anything further, the man suddenly stiffened and his eyes met Dee’s for a moment, as he opened his mouth as if to speak. Instead of words, frothy blood burst from the lips and Dee hastily let go of him. As the hunter fell, Dee saw one of Luke’s arrows sticking out of his back, and he paused long enough to smile.
He didn’t have much time to think, though, because three hunters burst from the wood, and suddenly he was fighting desperately for his life.Arrows flew over his shoulder as he ran at the nearest man. He heard one of the other two curse and fall. The first one already had his gun raised and he heard the crack of its discharge. And then, without pain or any other sensation at all, he was falling forwards into darkness. As he fell he saw a huge flash of light, and heard screams and shouts, but he might have imagined that because in the click of the fingers it all winked out and there was nothing