The Witches of Eriadne:
Interlude Two - Part 1: Fear of Flying

by The Space Witches

Matthew and Demon on the flybike by Lilith
Matthew and Demon on the flybike by Lilith

Chapter 1

Gideon looked across the table at Deborah as she sat with her eyes closed and her head back, face turned into the morning sun. They were sitting on her terrace, having finished breakfast. Only three days remained until the Excalibur was due back to collect him and he wanted to spend every moment of that time with her.

Deborah was slowly recovering from the physical after effects of losing Angel, but Gideon knew that she was still grieving for her sister, missing her terribly. She made every effort to be cheerful and good company for him, determined not to spoil the little time they had together, but he knew that her sadness sometimes overwhelmed her. On a number of occasions, Deborah had excused herself and disappeared for a few moments, into the bathroom, or wherever else she could find to hide until she pulled herself back together. But when she came back, her eyes were red and it didn't matter how much she smiled, Gideon knew she was hurting badly. All he could do was hold her and be there, but he wouldn't even be able to do that for much longer. In three days, he'd have to leave her to cope alone.

For the moment, he would do whatever he could to make her happier. He looked over at her. "Let's go out for the day."

Deborah opened her eyes and smiled across at him. "Where do you want to go? We could go swimming, if you like, or we could hike up into the hills. You've never been beyond the area the Vorlon cleared, have you? There are some really beautiful places up there, some of which aren't too dangerous. Do you want to do that?"

Gideon nodded. "OK, let's do it. But I've got a surprise for you, so give me a few minutes to get dressed, then I'll meet you down in the courtyard." He stood and leaned over to kiss her, his hand caressing her face. Deborah lifted her hand and placed it behind his neck, pulling him down deeper into the kiss. He finally broke away, feeling breathless, and said softly, "Wear something practical," then went back into her rooms to dress.

Gideon was standing by the fly bike when Deborah walked out into the courtyard. He started to laugh as he saw what she considered 'practical'. She was wearing a black sundress that reached to mid-thigh, and was buttoned down the front, showing her shoulders and was tight across her cleavage, but loose across her stomach. Her legs were bare to mid-calf, which was where the tops of the heavy, black lace-up boots ended. She carried a leather jacket in her hand and her hair was tied back into a ponytail by a long, black scarf.

Deborah stopped in front of him and looked at him quizzically. "What's funny?"

Gideon pulled her close into a hug, kissed her forehead, then pushed her out to arms' length. "You are. Now understand that I think you're the most beautiful woman in the whole galaxy, but do you have any idea what you look like? What are you wearing?"

Deborah looked down at herself and frowned, then looked back up at him. "What? I need the boots if we're going to hike. The grass up in the hills is long and sharp. And I can't get into my pants any more, so this is the best alternative. In case you haven't noticed, I've gained a little weight since you were last here."

Gideon pulled her close and kissed her again before letting her go. "I'd noticed. But what makes you think that the jacket is going to fit?"

She frowned as she looked down at the jacket in her hand, then looked up at him. "Why shouldn't it?"

Gideon took the jacket from her and held it up for her to slip her arms into. When she had done so, he took her shoulders and turned her back to face him, reaching down to pull the bottom of the zipper together. It just met across her stomach and he gently pulled up the zipper until it reached her breasts where it stuck fast, unable to pull up over them. Deborah looked down at where the zipper had stopped, then up into Gideon's eyes. She grinned. "Oops. I hadn't realized they'd expanded so much. How did you know?"

Gideon ran his finger along the top of her breast where it emerged from her dress, "I make a special study of them," he said and smiled. He pulled her close and ran his hand down her hip and thigh until it reached the hem of her dress, then slipped his hand under it, bringing it back up to cup her buttock. "And that's not the only part of you I've been studying." He was about to lean in for another kiss when he saw Nikarran approaching, carrying two crossbows and a supply of bolts.

"Here are the weapons you asked for." Nikarran held them out to Deborah who took them and thanked him. The Guard Captain turned and left.

"What are they for?" Gideon was curious.

Deborah held the crossbows up and waved them at him. "Once we get beyond the boundaries of the land the Vorlon cleared, there are some nasty lifeforms up in the hills. We might need these."

Gideon nodded and reached for the weapons, taking them from her and securing them to the side of the fly bike. Deborah watched him for a moment then asked, "Why are you doing that?"

He turned and smiled at her. "That's your surprise. We'll take the bike, then we can find a nice place to land and..." he trailed off as Deborah backed away from him shaking her head. "What? What's the matter?"

"I'm not going anywhere on that thing."

"Why not? It's fun. You get a great view when you go up high. You just need to make sure that you're warm enough..." Gideon ground to a halt as Deborah stood shaking her head, her face set in determination. "So why not? Explain it to me, please." He could hear the irritation in his voice and tried to suppress it, but why was she spoiling his surprise? He'd expected her to be pleased at the idea of going for a spin on the bike and was feeling let down by her reaction.

"It's not safe." Deborah's mouth was as stubborn as he'd ever seen it. This was going to be a battle of wills. Gideon metaphorically dug his heels in and snorted.

"Of course it's safe. I've been riding one of these things for years. Is it that you don't trust my driving?" The irritation seeped out again, and this time, Deborah reacted. She looked up and glared at him, eyes flaring green as she became annoyed.

"It's nothing to do with your driving. How the hell am I supposed to know how well you can drive one of those things, anyway? But they can't be safe; there are no seatbelts or anything to stop you falling off. Lean too far and that's it, you fall! Well not me. I'm not going." Deborah turned and started to walk back towards the castle doorway.

Gideon lunged after her and grabbed her arm, pulling her back and spinning her around to face him, then wrapped both arms tightly around her. "Don't walk away from me. Do you think I'd do anything that put you or the baby at risk? It really is safe and what stops you falling off is me. You sit behind me and hang on really tight. I won't let you fall off, I promise." Deborah had been struggling against him at first, but quieted as he spoke. He watched as she licked her lips, which for some reason had gone dry.

"Matthew, I don't like heights very much. Please, let's just hike up into the hills and forget this?"

Gideon was feeling stubborn by now and determined to have his way. "No. I want to do something different today. I want to see more of this place than just the area around the castle. By the time we walk up into the hills, it'll be time to turn around and come back. Come on, Deborah, please. I promise I won't fly very high, but do this, will you? For me?" He knew that she'd never be able to refuse such a blatant play on her sympathies and felt vaguely guilty about doing it, but the guilt was soon washed away by pleasure as Deborah finally nodded, slowly.

"All right. But promise me that you won't go high and that you'll stop if I ask you to?" If Gideon hadn't known her better, he could have sworn she looked frightened. But he knew that his Deborah wouldn't be scared of anything as silly as heights.

"Of course I will. Just tap me on the shoulder and I'll stop, OK?"

Deborah nodded and watched carefully as Gideon showed her the main features of the fly bike. He helped her onto the pillion seat, making sure that she had her feet firmly tucked into the stirrups placed for the passenger, then swung onto the driver's seat. Reaching back, he found her hands and pulled them forward until her arms were wrapped around his waist. Gideon felt her shift forward in her seat until her body was pressed tightly against his back, her head turned to one side and resting on his shoulder. He turned the bike's engine on, and Deborah immediately tightened her grip round his waist. Hard.

He turned to look over his shoulder and could see that she had her eyes tightly shut. "Deborah, could you ease up a bit? Just enough so I can breathe?" Gideon felt her arms relax a little. "That's better. Now I'm just going to take us up a meter or so, OK?" He turned the throttle and the lift motor and the bike lifted from the ground and started forward across the courtyard.

Deborah's grip tightened and again he found it difficult to breathe. "Just relax a bit, will you? I need to get the occasional whiff of oxygen." She eased her hold just enough for him to take a deep breath, and then he took them up and over the castle walls. Gideon could hear her moaning against his shoulder and took the bike back to the ground outside the wall. He turned his head to look at her again and saw that her eyes were still shut.

"Now that wasn't so bad, was it? You'll start to enjoy it soon."

Deborah opened her eyes and looked up at him, pleading. "Let's just go for a walk? I really would prefer that."

Gideon got stubborn. "No. I want to do this. Just hang on." He turned the throttle and lift and took them straight up, then out over the village and into the hills.

They were high above the hills about twenty kilometers away from the castle when Gideon throttled back the engine. As the noise diminished, he could hear a strange noise from behind his shoulder. He gradually realized it was Deborah. She was whimpering. He looked over his shoulder and saw her eyes were still tightly shut. "Deborah? What's the matter?"

"Take me down. Please. Now." Her voice was strained and trembling.

Gideon frowned. She sounded frightened. He wondered for a moment if he'd made a mistake in bringing her up here, maybe she really was afraid. Looking down, he tried to see a suitable landing site, somewhere open and flat, but realized that he had no idea what dangers to look out for. He looked over his shoulder again; Deborah's eyes were still shut. "You have to open your eyes a minute and tell me where to land. I don't know what's safe. Come on, Deborah, I'm taking us right down, we'll only be a couple of meters up, just open your eyes." Gideon slowly lowered the bike until they were hovering two meters off the ground. The mewing noises Deborah was making deep in her throat continued as they descended. "Open your eyes, Deborah. Tell me where to land."

As he cut back the engines to hover, Gideon could hear Deborah panting, fighting for each breath. He felt her head move and realized she was looking over his shoulder. "Over there, in the middle of that open ground. Keep away from those large boulders and the trees." He turned the bike towards the spot she'd indicated and heard her groan as it tilted.

As soon as the bike touched down, Deborah released her arms from his waist and pushed against his back. Before Gideon could move, she'd fallen sideways off the bike and landed hard on the ground. She rolled onto her stomach and lifted herself on all fours, starting to crawl away from him. "Deborah! Are you OK? What's the matter?" He swung his leg over the saddle and started after her, just as she started to retch. Before he could reach her, she vomited violently, then took a deep breath and threw up again.

Gideon grabbed a canteen of water from the side of the bike and dropped to his knees beside her. Deborah was coughing, her eyes streaming and liquid dribbling from her nose and mouth. He reached into his pocket and brought out a handkerchief. Reaching for her face, he turned it toward him, wiping it clean, then holding out the canteen for her to drink. "Here. Take a sip and spit it out. Just get the taste out of your mouth. God, I'm sorry, Deborah. I didn't realize. Why didn't you tell me?" Gideon helped her drink, then watched in dismay as she turned her head away and threw up again.

After a few minutes, Deborah's heaving subsided and Gideon helped her stand and walk away from the mess on the ground, getting them both upwind from the smell. He wiped her face again and helped lift the canteen to her lips. This time she managed to keep the water down and he pulled her tight into his chest. He kissed the top of her head as it rested against him. "I really am sorry. Are you OK now? Why didn't you say something earlier?"

Deborah murmured, "I tried. I kept asking you to take me down, but you couldn't hear me." She looked up at him with her eyes still red. "Why didn't you listen to me, Matthew? I told you I didn't like heights. Why did you take us up so high? You promised you wouldn't."

Gideon could see the hurt in Deborah's eyes and hear it in her voice. He hugged her fiercely. "Because I'm stupid. And selfish, thoughtless, and stubborn, but why didn't you hit me on the shoulder? I'd have felt that even if I couldn't hear you."

She gazed at him, then tucked her head into his shoulder before she answered. "Because I didn't dare let go of you. I was terrified I was going to fall. I really don't like heights."

Gideon held her tightly and kissed the top of her head again, cursing himself for not listening to her and trying to think how he was going to get her home without making her ill again. While he was thinking, Deborah moved her hands to push against his chest and lifted her head to look at him again. "You won't do that again, will you?"

"God, no, I promise I'll listen more carefully in future." He saw her eyes flicker to her right and widen, then she spoke very quietly.

"Then listen now. Stay still. Totally still." Deborah was staring straight into Gideon's eyes, not even blinking and he realized that she'd spoken without moving her lips. He froze as she slowly moved her hands down his chest, moving her right hand gradually until she could reach the left sleeve of her jacket. She slowly withdrew a knife from her sleeve and brought it up next to his throat. "Still." Her voice was barely a whisper this time as she turned the knife in her hand until she was holding the blade. Then her hand moved so fast he couldn't see it and it was empty. Gideon heard a screech in his left ear and fell forward on top of Deborah as she pulled hard on his leather jacket and threw herself backwards. Something hit the middle of his back and he shook himself violently to throw it off, then rolled off her quickly to see what it was.

A fierce-looking avian was lying in the grass, with Deborah's knife embedded in its throat. It was still twitching, but Gideon could see that it was dead. He swallowed hard as he took in the sharp edges to its beak and the long sharp claws on its feet and on the tips of its wings. It didn't have feathers, just a leathery membrane stretching across its wings.

He turned back to look at Deborah as she lay on her back in the grass, staring up at him, breathing hard. She asked, "Did it scratch you? Or bite you anywhere?" He'd never heard her sound so worried.

Gideon shook his head. "No, nothing. Ugly-looking bastard, isn't it? And those claws and that beak could do some damage." He jumped up and held out his hand to help her to her feet.

"More than you think. A scratch from those claws can send a Brakiri into toxic shock in an hour. If they're lucky, they're back on their feet in a month. One bite and unless they get an antidote within the hour, they're dead by the end of that day. I have no idea how it would affect a human. I've never wanted to volunteer to be a guinea pig." Deborah kicked the corpse at their feet. "Damn! These things should still be up in the mountains. They nest up there and they should still be mating. I'll have to tell the hunting parties that they're down early this year." She looked at him seriously. "I'm sorry, Matthew. If I'd known that they were down here now I'd never have agreed to us leaving the safe area. We have to get back. There are bound to be more of them around."

Gideon watched as she turned and looked at the fly bike in despair. He knew what she was thinking. It was their only way out, and Deborah was terrified of getting back onto it. He pulled her into his arms and hugged her. "It's OK, we'll try a different way this time and we'll stay low."

He pushed her back toward the bike and helped her onto it, this time putting Deborah into the front seat. Gideon swung up behind her and pulled himself as close as he could, then reached for the controls. Deborah leaned forward to give him room and Gideon found that if she lay down onto the front of the bike he could reach comfortably and his body was then pressed on top of her, holding her securely, while allowing her hands free to grip the handlebars below the controls.

He asked, "Does that feel safer?" Deborah nodded, but when she turned her head to the side to get more comfortable, Gideon could see that her eyes were tightly shut again. He leaned down to kiss the cheek that was turned toward him and told her, "I'll stay low but keep your eyes shut if it helps. Just don't throw up on the bike, OK? God knows what it'll do to the engine." He saw her smile and nod, then the smile disappeared and she bit her lip as he lifted them off the ground.

They dropped to the ground by the side of the pool and Gideon heaved a sigh of relief. There'd been no further attacks from the avians and Deborah hadn't asked him to stop. She'd lain beneath him on the bike, totally still, with her eyes shut, but she hadn't thrown up again. He let go of the handlebars and sat upright, then put his hands under her shoulders and pulled her up to lean back against him. He kissed her neck and asked, "Are you OK? How do you feel?"

Deborah leaned back against his chest and pulled Gideon's arms around her, then spoke quietly. "I'm all right. That wasn't so bad. I feel much better now." He leaned his head forward, looking over her shoulder at the side of her face. Her color was much better, not the deathly white she'd been earlier. Gideon kissed her cheek, then sat quietly for a moment, enjoying the feel of Deborah's body in his arms, the warmth of her back against his chest.

After a while he spoke. "You know what? I don't think it's just about heights. I think part of it is probably about control. You're as much of a control freak as I am. Maybe it wouldn't be so scary if you were driving?"

Gideon heard Deborah chuckle deep in her throat. "You're probably right. I don't like feeling helpless, and I certainly felt that way on the ride up there. So why don't you teach me how to drive this thing?"

Gideon spent the next hour showing her the controls and how to operate them, then took her though a series of lifts and descents around the pool until she felt able to control the bike and he felt willing to let her. When Deborah finally managed a complete circuit of the pool without him interfering, she'd recovered her good humor and he had a raging erection. The combination of the vibrations from the bike and his being pressed hard against her buttocks had stiffened his cock into painful arousal.

As they landed by the flat rocks, Deborah noticed Gideon's condition. She wriggled her butt against him and laughed. "Why Captain, when you said you'd take me for a ride, I didn't realize it was that sort of ride you had in mind."

Gideon started to kiss along the line of her shoulder while unbuttoning the front of her dress, then slipped his hands inside it to caress her breasts. Deborah's nipples hardened under his touch and he could hear her breathing accelerate. He slid one hand down to her leg and pulled the dress up, then stroked the inside of her thigh until he reached her curls, pressed against the saddle of the bike. Deborah shifted to allow him access, and Gideon slipped a finger inside her. She was writhing against him now, each movement of her butt arousing him further. Gideon moved his hand from her breast and reached down between them to unzip his pants and release his swollen cock from confinement. Deborah felt what he was doing and lifted herself up and forward, leaning her weight on her arms, which were on the handlebars. He pulled her dress up, exposing her buttocks, which he fondled for a moment, before positioning his cock at her entrance. Pulling his fingers out of her, Gideon moved both hands to her hips and slowly pulled her back and down, thrusting into her as she descended. With each thrust, he pulled her down a little further until she was completely impaled.

Deborah started to rotate her hips, moving him inside her as Gideon pushed into her. He reached forward and slipped his hand back between her legs, finding her clit and rubbing it gently. Her movements became more urgent as she lifted towards climax, meeting each of his upward thrusts with her own downward push, slamming him inside her harder and harder each time. Gideon could hear her panting and bit gently into her shoulder as he moved his free hand back to her breast, squeezing and rubbing her nipple in time to her movements. Deborah moaned as she exploded into orgasm, her hot, wet walls pulsing around his cock, gripping him and pushing him over the edge into glorious release. He came suddenly, violently expelling a seemingly unending stream of heat inside her, each pulse of her walls squeezing more out of him until he collapsed against her back, completely spent.

They lay still for a moment, recovering their breath, Deborah face down on the bike, Gideon lying on her back. After a while, he gently kissed her shoulder and pushed himself upright, pulling her back up until she leaned against his chest again. He whispered into her ear, "Well that's a first. I've never done it on a fly bike before."

Gideon felt the vibration from Deborah's laughter against his chest. "Let's not try it in mid-air, OK?"

Gideon lay on his back on the rug, enjoying the feel of the sun on his naked body. He and Deborah had stripped after making love on the bike and gone for a long lazy swim in the pool. Afterward, he'd unpacked a rug from the side pannier of the bike and the picnic he'd had stowed there. They lay on the rug and let the sun dry them as they ate the sandwiches and drank the wine he'd brought for them.

He was lying with his hands behind his head as Deborah kissed his chest, slowly working her way down to his stomach and his reawakening cock. Gideon sighed with pleasure as she kissed the tip and gently licked the length of his shaft, then frowned with disappointment as she sat upright and looked down at him.

"Do you trust me?" Deborah smiled mischievously as she asked the question.

Gideon was puzzled by her question, but answered, "You just saved my life. Of course I trust you. But when you have that expression on your face, I'm not sure I should." He watched as Deborah reached for the scarf which had held her hair back earlier. She stretched it between her hands then moved it towards his face. He lifted his hand to stop her and she looked disappointed.

"Let me have a little fun," she insisted. Gideon dropped his hand and let her tie the scarf around his head, blindfolding him. He felt Deborah's hair on his chest as she leaned forward and whispered into his ear, "Now put your hands behind your head and keep them there."

He followed her instructions, wondering what she had planned. Gideon gasped as he felt Deborah's mouth close around his cock, sucking gently, grazing her teeth along it, then moving back up to lick the tip. He found her silence and not being able to see what she would do next incredibly erotic and wondered how long he could last before he came. Then her mouth moved away and there was silence for a moment. Gideon didn't know what she was doing, so he went to move his hand from behind his head to reach out and find her.

Deborah's hand stopped his and she whispered again, "No, just keep your hands behind your head." Gideon did as he was told.

The next sensation was strange. A tickling warmth surrounded his cock, enclosing it completely. Gideon tried to imagine what it was. It felt odd but not unpleasant, soft and warm. He heard Deborah move and wondered what she was doing. Then he heard a click and a few seconds later she spoke. "You can take the blindfold off now."

Gideon undid the scarf from his head and looked down at himself. One of his socks was carefully placed over his erect cock, the toe flopped to one side. He looked up and saw Deborah standing at his feet, his holo-camera in her hands, grinning down at him. "That'll teach you to make me sick."

Gideon leaped to his feet and grabbed the camera, but there was no data crystal inside. "OK, what have you done with it? I want that crystal."

Deborah backed away from him, still grinning. "No."

He dropped the holo-camera onto the rug and grabbed her, pulling her close. "There are only a limited number of places you could put it. You didn't have time to hide it on the bike, so it must still be on you somewhere. Now either you give it up or I do a full body search and find it. What's it going to be?"

Deborah was still grinning widely as Gideon held her. "Well, go ahead, Captain. See if you can find a data crystal on me anywhere."

An hour later, Gideon had inspected every place Deborah could have hidden it, tickling her mercilessly, playing with her, teasing her, lifting her to the brink of climax, then leaving her hanging there, telling her that he wouldn't let her come until she handed over the crystal. But she wouldn't give it to him and he couldn't find it. Gideon's own resistance eventually broke and he rolled Deborah onto her back and spread her legs wide. In moments he was deep inside her, thrusting hard, bringing them both to an explosive climax.

Gideon lifted himself on his arms and looked down at his lover, still buried inside her. "So where is it? Did you swallow it?" She smiled up at him and lifted her hand to stroke his hair but said nothing. "You did, didn't you? Oh hell, you can keep it. I'm not going looking for it there!" He kissed her then looked down at her again. "So what do you plan to do with it?"

Deborah smiled again. "Oh, I don't know. It would be nice to show something like that to my sisters, but Ilas would tell Dureena, and Dureena would tell Max..."

Gideon groaned. "Not Max. Please, anyone but Max. Do you know how he'd torment me with it? I can hear him now. 'Which pair of socks do you have on today, Captain? Oh, I forgot, you wear them three at a time now, don't you?' I'll give you whatever you want, but don't show Max."

Deborah grinned up at him. "There's nothing I want that I don't already have. But I promise I'll never show Max a picture of you with your cock in a sock."

Gideon rolled off of her and lay on his side, holding a hand up in surrender. "OK, I get the picture... well, actually I suppose I don't, but anyway, I promise if you ever tell me something again, I'll listen really hard, OK?"

Deborah smiled again and lifted her hand to his head, pulling him down into another kiss. Just as their lips touched, she whispered, "OK."

Demon walked slowly back to the castle. Matthew had taken the bike on ahead after she'd told him that she'd rather walk. She smiled to herself, wondering when she should tell him that there never had been a data crystal in the camera. Maybe someday. But not soon.

The Witches of Eriadne: Interlude Two

{Part 1: Fear of Flying} {Part 2: Nocturnal Habits} {Part 2A: Angel's Delight} {Part 3: Procuring a Cure} {Part 4: Missing} {Part 5: Light Blue Touch Paper and Retire}

{The Main Gate} {HomePage} {Wytches World} {We are Family} {A Little Artistic Licence} {No, we don't mean "A"riadne} {Our Home Is Our Castle} {The Witches' Diary} {Witches Familiars} {The Gateway} {Webrings]