An almost normal conversation from a poorly clad Kalí. Hey, at this point, I’ll take what I can get.
I wonder what the expansion rate of the Texas economy is? Besides having Texarkana nuked and losing several of their inner cities until ExComm could clean out the Diversity, they weathered the Breakup pretty well. I know their trade with Mexico and the imperium is healthy but they have zero access to off-world materials and markets. Ah, that’s just me playing with ideas. I’d rather look at Kalí in her panties, too.
David heard the sound of one of his friends coaxing the fire back to life for coffee and breakfast. Kalí was under his right arm with her cheek resting on his chest, breathing slow and regular. Wonder what she’ll look like after a bath? was his first thought, followed quickly by, what do I tell the guys? They can’t say I’m making it up ‘cause she’s right here. I suppose…
The girl made a grumpy sound and rubbed her face against him twice.
That’s right. She told me to tell the truth. I guess that will make it easier in one regard. Another glance showed she was still asleep or doing a great job faking it so he eased himself up and started pulling clothes on. He laced his boots and unzipped the front of his tent. They would break theirs down in an hour or so, when they made for their next survey point, about fifty miles northwest.
Tell had coffee going and Pedro was putting some bacon into the cast iron skillet. Logan was some distance off just pulling up his faded jeans. David squatted down and took a tin from Tell, waiting for Logan to make it over.
“Guys?” he began, carefully. “Ah. Um. Well, there’s been a change.”
“What kind?” Tell asked, also passing coffee to Logan. Pedro just looked curious.
“I, well, ran into… no, that’s not right.” The other three were now very piqued to see their team leader at such a loss. “Y’all remember last evening? When I kinda zoned out there for a bit? Something happened.”
“Dave,” Tell smiled, meaning no harm, “we’re not the law. If you did peyote, that’s on you. Just don’t fuck up the job.”
“No. No, it wasn’t peyote. Or anything else.” He heard the sound of someone moving in his tent. The others did, too. Their collective look of shock was amazing. He stood.
She’s just wearing a towel over her shoulders for God’s sake! What is wrong with her! Suppressing a sigh, he put his right arm around her slender waist.
“I got married.”
In the motion of taking a drink from his tin, Logan made a spectacular spit-take.
“Wherinthehell did she come from!” he demanded, standing along with everyone else.
“Kalí? Could you please put some clothes on?” he asked her.
“Of course, Husband. I shall always obey you.” She turned and ducked back into his tent.
“David?” Tell’s voice had an edge. “Okay, you wandered off, met some local gal, and how old is she? And now you say y’all’s married. I liked the peyote story better.”
About to reply, he paused as she returned. A torn white tee shirt and panties seemed to be the best she could manage right now. He took her hand and brought her to the others. For an unknown reason, Pedro had a little grin.
“This is Kalí. My wife. Can we bother you for some breakfast, Pedro?”
Muttering, “of course, of course!” he handed her two of the first set of cooked bacon on a worn aluminum plate and immediately cracked two eggs to fry in the skillet. There was no log or good-sized rock to sit on, so David just sat in the dirt. Kalí immediately dropped into his lap and began eating with her fingers.
“Hawt,” she said around the bacon. Pedro pulled a fork from his pocket, looked at it, and passed it over. “Thank you, brother.”
“What was that?” David asked. “Y’all know each other?”
“We share someone in common,” was all she would admit, taking the over-easy eggs, too.
“So,” Logan tried again with more coffee, “you from these parts? Just wandering the desert?”
“No, not these parts. And isn’t wandering what you four are doing?”
“We are surveying used and new places for either oil wells or fracking,” Tell spoke up. “We’ll sell that data to drilling companies. Our Texas economy is growing by leaps and bounds right now and cheap energy, its backbone, is not so cheap right now.”
“Understandable,” she agreed with a slow blink to him. “Texas also has control of the Rocky Mountains Front Range. There is uranium there. You will need that, too.”
She leaned forward for more food, explaining it was for David. Massing nearly three times what she did, he got more. He reached for the fork but got a sharp, “No!” for his trouble.
“I shall feed you, Husband,” she announced. That was too much for Tell who burst out laughing.
“If not from around here,” Logan tried being rational again. I’m beginning to think that won’t work. “How’d you get here and from where? And what charms did you use on our team leader, there?”
“I live many places at once,” she admitted, standing from David’s lap, “and I only told him the truth. I have to pee and poo. Excuse me.”
Pedro looked mortally embarrassed as he cleaned the skillet. The other two waited until she was just past the SUV…
“What the hell, Dave!” Logan demanded in a whisper. “What happened?”
They won’t leave me alone until we do this. He described being lost and a little disoriented. He talked about how it was kinda like where they were but wasn’t. Then some boy in rags shows up and offers one of his canteens. The boy turned out to be a girl.
“And that’s when I came to here, at your call, Tell,” he said. “I thought it was all a dream. And then there she was, in my tent, naked.”
“I already said we’re not the law, Dave, but I do want an answer: her age?” Tell asked again.
“Twenty. And she’s tougher than she looks.”
Tell and Logan seemed to relax just a little at that. No one wants to get hauled up on child trafficking. That’s a death penalty offense.
Kalí walked back and into his – their – tent, saying she was getting dressed. “I guess we should, too, guys. It’s what, fifty miles, north-northwest, to the old oil patch?” He stood.
“We’re leaving in ten, Dave,” Tell called. “Keep your hands off her.”
“The problem there,” he paused at his tent flap and looked back, unable to keep the smile off his face, “is the other way round.”