Friday, February 14, 2014

The Night of the Lovers

Friday Fiction! Escape pod here. (edit - Sindel's Universe appears to be down? Alternative here.)

Well it is Friday, it is also the 14th of the month. The month being February. Yup its Valentines Day! You did remember right? You didn't forget? Anyway, a more racy than usual Friday Fiction given the day today. Therefore if you are not interested in 49 Shades of Caldari Blue-Grey take the escape pod above! Its also slightly longer at 3,500 words than my usual target of 2,500. I guess I got a bit carried away!

Actually, are you still reading this or are you trying to make a restaurant reservation in a panic or already out of the door to buy some flowers whilst swearing?

The Night of the Lovers

The hybrid rounds slammed into the back wall of the restaurant throwing wood splitters all around. It was funny, even though Rachel knew her life was in imminent danger all she could think of was how much that wood panelling cost. Wood was considered a huge luxury on a space station. Her date lent around the up-turned table that they were hiding behind and fired his gun at the unseen attackers. The report from the pistol was deafening at such close range. He took cover behind the table as the assailants returned fired. He fired another clip blindly over the top of the table as more automatic gunfire raked the restaurant, thudding against the table.

"So what do you want to do after this? A nightclub?" her blind-date asked with his wicked smile before diving out from behind the table firing his gun at the attackers again.

Four hours earlier...

Rachel stood over the open draw and looked down at the collection of cotton garments. She ran a finger over them and shook her head, silently cursing her meddling sister.

"Its a stupid tradition anyway!" she thought to herself.

Nobody really knew the origins of 'Night of the Lovers', all that was known was that it was a very ancient tradition. Many different academics and scholars had argued the origins of the day. However, nobody in the cluster of stars known as New Eden had ever heard of Valentines Day. The Night of Lovers was actually based on that very celebration from ancient Earth. The original Terran settlers of Gallente Prime in the Luminaire system had kept the tradition going for millennia even after memories of the planet it came from were lost.

Rachel had been planning a night in alone with a 'chick-flick' holo-movie and an industrial-sized tub of ice cream. It had not been a good few months for her. She had caught Mal, her now ex-fiancé, screwing her boss at a drunken works party. In one single night she'd lost the man she loved and her job when she'd slapped her boss before kneeing Mal between the legs. Whilst she had found a new job, she was in no rush to meet another man. Then her sister had come round earlier in the week and seen the state she was in.

"You need to get your love-life back on track and I'm going to sort that!" her kid sister had declared. Apparently her boyfriend had a brother and he was going to be visiting the station for the weekend. Of course it had to coincide with 'Lovers Night' didn't it. Every couple in the Federation would be out on dates enjoying themselves with the person they loved. Now she was going to be stuck having a blind-date with her sisters boyfriend's brother. Her sisters words hung in her head.

"He's in logistics apparently. On some sort of spacecraft, I know its not exciting but he's single, same age and its good practice for you! His brother says he's long-term single so there must be something wrong with him but anyway, you need the practice for when you meet Mr Right, right?"

She'd refused initially, but her sister was very persuasive. So she had asked her what this brother actually looked like. She replied that she'd never seen him and her boyfriend rarely talked about him. In fact he'd refused to set up the blind date initially. Then she had then informed him that if he didn't set up the date then she'd go to Rachel's for 'The Night of the Lovers' to have a girly night in. Apparently he had called his brother straight away as he didn't want to miss the special thing she did on that night. Rachel didn't want to know that the 'special thing' was that her kid sister did for her boyfriend that once a year!

Now four days later and it was the Night of the Lovers and her blind-date.

She looked down in her hand at the 'everyday' underwear she'd plucked out of the draw. Not really what she'd choose to wear on a 'hot date', but this date wasn't going to be hot. The plan was to dress down. Her plain black trouser suit was hung ready on the back of the door with a sensible pair of black flat shoes beneath them.

"Well, he's not going to see them, but may be I should dress up?" she thought, replacing the sensible garments back in the draw and opening the next draw down. A draw she hadn't bothered opening since Mal ran off. It contained skimpy lace and silk. "May be I should treat this as a practice run of a proper hot-date? After six years in a steady relationship with one man, I might be a bit rusty! Plus it is an excuse to get dressed up!"

Two hours later she studied herself in the full length mirror. The plain black trouser suit was still there hung on the back of the door. A smile crept onto her face as she looked at her reflection. It was the old her. The red dress she decided on was sexy but tasteful. It showed a hint of cleavage but not too much. The split in the side was high enough to show plenty of leg, but not high enough to reveal the tops of the expensive silk stockings she wore. Her shoes were glossy red and the highest heels she could comfortably walk in. The underwear she wore was usually reserved for special nights with her ex-lover. Finally she'd put her best jewellery on, the diamond necklace given to her by her grandmother. Yes, she thought, when I decide I want a man in my life, this is the look that will have them falling at my feet! She turned around to make sure the lingerie didn't show any tell-tail lines through the dress. Her hair and make-up were perfect. She was ready.

She grabbed her bag and coat, had one last glance in the mirror, smiled at herself, and headed out of the apartment.


Rachel followed the directions to deck 9. She had never been to this upper deck before and certainly not to this restaurant. It was too high up in the station, much higher than she was used to. Generally on space-stations, the higher the deck, the more expensive and exclusive it was. She felt a small pang of guilt. This guy was obviously trying to impress her, logistics surely couldn't pay this well. She thought about the situation. She using this poor guy for dating practice. There she was, dressed to kill, letting him take her to a posh restaurant and then she would leave him hanging at the end of the night. She felt as if she'd just kicked a puppy. She decided then that she would insist on paying half the bill. It would only be fair. Rachel was now regretted dressing like she had, it was only going to lead him on, get his hopes up. The boring, long-term single, probably unattractive man was going to have his hopes raised to the heavens, and then cruelly dashed when she wasn't interested in seeing him again.

"What am I doing?" she thought to herself as she entered the posh restaurant. Even paying for half the meal seemed wrong. She should have worn the boring trouser suit, the sensible flat shoes and the boring underwear. She had made a big mistake. Before she could turn and leave the maitre d' approached her and offered to take her coat. It was too late now.

"Good evening mademoiselle, do you have a reservation?"

The maitre d' spoke with an upperclass, olde-world Gallente accent she'd only ever heard in the movies. She felt very out of place here.

"No. I mean yes. I mean I'm meeting someone. Drako Valadin."

"Ah Oui! Mr Valadin is already here. Please follow me."

The maitre d' led her into the restaurant's dining room. She could feel all eyes on her. It felt good after hiding away for the last few months. She suppressed a laugh as she saw one gawping man with his mouth hanging open receive a swift kick under the table from his date who was now scowling at him. She looked around to where the maitre d' was leading her. It appeared they were heading to the corner. That must be him, but that couldn't be him! In the corner table sat a man about her age. He was amazing looking, no man who looked like that would ever need to go on a blind date. He must have had a queue of beautiful women begging to spend Lovers Night with him. He wore an expensive suit and his hair and designer stubble were immaculate. He looked like the lead hero from a spy movie. As they approached he looked up, smiled and stood. He held out his hand. Rachel took it and he brought her hand to his face and kissed the back of it.

"Rachel, it is an utter delight to meet you. You look absolutely stunning." he said in a deep, gravelly voice that sent a shiver down her spine.

She thanked him for the compliment as he pulled her chair out for her and she sat. He took his seat and leant forward.

"I must say, when my brother asked me to do this I was a bit hesitant. Blind dates are certainly something I have not done before. But, I am so glad I came."

Rachel smiled and replied she felt the same as the waitress placed a napkin in her lap.


The dinner flew by. He was indeed single as her sister had said. He wasn't just in logistics, he captained his very own starship and was constantly on the move. He described it as a lucrative but lonely life. He wanted to know more about her and most of her questions directed at him were answered quickly and honestly and then steered back to her. She was again surprised, in the past when she'd met truly beautiful men like him they wanted to talk about themselves all the time. Not this man, he appeared truly interested in her as a person.

Soon they were finishing their deserts and drinking cups of hot, rich, black coffee. Rachel started to worry that time was running out. Her plan originally was to pay half the bill, thank him for a wonderful night (even though she expected it to be utterly dull), say she had an early start in the morning and with a peck on the cheek make a run for it. Now she didn't want the night to end. She couldn't invite him back to her apartment could she? The way her heart was pounding, she knew it was what she wanted. He'd already said in a roundabout way he couldn't commit to a relationship, his career meant he was always on the move. She didn't care, if all she could have was one night then she would take it. She wanted him desperately. Just one night with her charming, intelligent, funny and beautiful spaceship captain.

He looked up, but he wasn't looking at her, it was almost as if he was looking directly through her. A thousand yard stare.

"Well I hate to spoil a wonderful night, but I'm afraid I must." he said with a tinge of sadness in his voice.

Rachel's heart sank. There she was, planning to take him to bed, fantasising about what she was going to do to him, but he was going to reject her before she'd got there. Thank god he had done it now, it would have been humiliating if she had made a move, invited him back to hers and then been rejected at that point. She felt deflated. She was looking her absolute best and this man wasn't even interested in her even for a one-night-stand. Was there something wrong with her she though?

He reached into his jacket an she assumed he was going for his wallet to pay. Instead he pulled out a gun.

She froze in fear as he pointed it towards her and the muzzle of the gun flashed, blinding her for a second. The bang hurt her ears and she felt the heat of the bullet as it sped past her cheek. Time appeared to slow. She was aware of screaming behind her. Her date was rising from his chair, the gun was still firing. It was as if it was all in slow motion. She sat there in horror as he flipped the heavy table on its side and grabbed her, pulling her towards him. As she spun around she spotted a man face down on the floor behind her, a gun was still clenched in his lifeless hand. A pool of bright red blood was spreading out from under his body. She was pulled to the floor as automatic gun fire raked the restaurant. Her date smiled reassuringly at her before kneeling up over the upturned table and opening fire at the attackers. He ducked back down behind the table as they returned fire.

"Douvalle Labs assault rifles! Nice weapons! They've spent a bit more on trying to kill me this time!" he said, still grinning, whilst reloading his pistol.

"So what do you want to do after this? A nightclub? I'll be right back! Don't go anywhere!" her blind-date said with a wicked smile before diving out from behind the table firing his gun at the attackers. He rolled into cover behind a pillar by the wall, winked at here and sprinted out of view.


Rachel was sat with her back to the upturned table, frozen with fear and confusion. It had been a whole minute since her date had dived from behind the table firing his gun and had vanished. Had he left her to the mercy of the gunmen? The firing had stopped. Had they left? Three more shots suddenly rang out and then more silence. She dared to peak over the table. The restaurant was ruined. Smashed tables and broken plates were everywhere. The walls were riddled with bullet holes she saw two bodies laying dead in the mess. Through the slight mist of smoke that lingered, her date was walking towards her casually, with the gun still in his hand swaying at his side. He looked impeccable in his suit and a cheeky half-smile even though he had just been in a fire-fight and killed who knows how many men.

"Are you OK?" he asked as he held out his hand.

She took his hand and he pulled her to her feet.

"What happened?" is all she could say still in a daze.

"Well in my line of work, the competition is murder, literally. I didn't expect them to find me here especially as I only arrived a few hours ago. Anyway, I think we'd better leave."

He tossed some credit chips onto a table. Although she only got a glimpse of them they looked like ten thousand credit chips. Ten of them. More than she earned in five years. He led her out of the back door of the dining room and through the kitchens holding her hand tightly. The chefs and cooks were all hiding behind the counters watching this beautiful couple carefully. None dared to challenge them. Her date opened a door and they emerged into an alley behind the restaurant.

"Who ARE you?" Rachel asked as her date looked both ways carefully checking for any threats.

"I'm a capsuleer. I move 'things'. These guys have been hired by a rival corporation to stop me moving said things. If they destroy my ship it doesn't help them much as I am re-cloned. However, if they can kill me outside my capsule then I am permanently dead. Don't worry, I've dealt with amateurs like this before. There were four of them out front that I took care of, so where are the other two? They always come in sixes!"

A shot rang out. Her date pushed her against the wall of the alley and shielded her with his own body. He was pressed hard against her, sandwiching her between him and the wall. He returned fire, his single shot hitting the assailant square in the chest.

"As I said, armatures. A 50 metre shot with a pistol? Not going to happen without an optical implant. These idiots always shoot too early and give themselves away."

"But, you hit him!" Rachel stated.

"As I said" he replied with a smile "optical implants. I can hit at these ranges, they cannot. Also very useful for noticing other things too." he grinned at her.

She saw the intensity in his eyes, his body was still pressed hard against hers from when he was shielding her against the gunman. He didn't appear to be in a hurry to move. The wall was cold against her back but his body was hot against her front.

"Like what?" she croaked, her emotional state barely allowing her to speak.

Her date lent in close and put his mouth by her ear. She could smell his expensive aftershave. It did nothing to calm her down. She was worried he would feel how fast her heart was beating against his chest as he whispered in her ear.

"We capslueers tend to have a range of implants you cannot see. I have an improved optical implant that increases my perception far above a normal persons. This helps me in piloting my starship, improves my ain when firing a gun and it is also useful when on a date with a beautiful woman. For example, I know by the skin tone on your finger that you were engaged, but not for a few months now. The necklace you wear is old. Its a Vashkahian diamond, that diamond mine was destroyed 80 years ago. An old family heirloom? I know you are wearing stockings under that incredible sexy dress. I spotted the tiny bulge in the material where your suspender belt is attached to them. See, its not just the fire-fight that has my heart thumping, you've been driving me crazy all night." Rachel was glad he wasn't looking at her face as she was sure she had turned scarlet. "I can also see that our missing 'Mr Six' is 44 point five metres away and slowly creeping up to us thinking I haven't seen him. He also has a rather large forehead. That makes it easy for me!"

The capsuleer brought his arm up at frightening speed and fired once without turning even his head. Rachel snapped her head around to see the approaching man drop to the ground on his knees, a small red dot in the very centre of his forehead. As he fell forward, a pistol clattered to the floor at his side.

"That should be the last of them." he stated whilst holstering his gun, "I am truly sorry to have put you through that. I was having a wonderful night before they...."

He was cut short as Rachel span around and pushed him hard against the wall and kissed him passionately. Her tongue diving deep into his mouth. She brought her leg up and wrapped it around his hip. He returned the kiss with the same level of passion and she felt his hand drop to her thigh and he held it tight against him. His fingers stroked the exposed flesh above the lace stocking tops. Finally she withdrew from him.

"Do you have somewhere we can go?" she asked breathlessly?

The capsuleer gave her his trademark smile.


"Where have you been?" her sister shouted "I've been worried sick about you!".

"Its your fault." Rachel laughed "The blind-date you set me up with took me for a spin on his ship!"

"You've been flying around in a rusty hauler for a day and a half?" her sister asked incredulously.

"Well not exactly." Rachel laughed "He flies something slightly better than a rusty hauler!"

"Oh my god! You went all the way on a blind-date! You filthy cow!" her sister laughed, relaxing now knowing her sister was safe. "You utter slut! You shagged my boyfriends brother!" she continued to joke.

Rachel smiled and thought of asking her sister if she'd ever been 'all the way' on a first date in a capsuleers executive suite on board a top-of-the-line battleship? Had she ever made love in zero-gravity whilst a panoramic window gave a breathtaking view overlooking a plasma planet? She decided to keep that special moment for herself.


  1. "Douvalle Labs assault rifles! Nice weapons! They've spent a bit more on trying to kill me this time!"

    Love that line

  2. i think this is one of your best story i have read. Few spelling mistakes (you should really get your wife to proof read it). Any chance this will have a continuation? there are so many possibilities that this story can tell.

    Good job and i really enjoy it

  3. Expected Vindicator, saw Widow. I am disappoint :(

    1. He said he moved things. Cloak + jump-drive = good for moving 'things'.

      MASSIVE DPS and 90% webs = No so good!

    2. Nonsense! You can always shoot stuff that's shooting you o7

  4. Absolute classic as always. Reading your work is like watching a film in my head. I really love Fridays!

  5. I'm gonna be honest, been reading for about a month or two now, never actually commented, but this is too cool. :P Even better being a girl and reading it from her perspective :P Very awesome. I do now wanna see a short animation or something of this XD The fight and all. haha. Either way, you're an awesome and entertaining writer, so keep it up! :)

  6. Thanks for your lovely comments all. Problem is I'm now sweating on how I can make a good enough FF for this week!