The Witches of Eriadne:
Interlude Four G - Part 2: Knives and Balls

by The Space Witches

Show me yours, and I'll show you mine...
Show me yours, and I'll show you mine...

Chapter 1

Late December 2270

Matthew Gideon

I leaned across to John Matheson and spoke quietly out of the side of my mouth. "All fixed?"

Matheson looked warily around the bridge, checking to make sure that no one could hear us. "Yes. The supplies will be delivered at 17:00. I just have to confirm the location. We rendezvous in your quarters at 18:00 then proceed to..." I interrupted him before he could finish.

"Shhh! Don't say it! The fewer people who know where we're going, the less likelihood there is of them finding out. You can tell the rest of us what you've arranged at the rendezvous point. This is 'need to know' information, Commander."

John nodded, his face serious. "Yes sir. Need to know only, sir."

Glancing around to make sure we weren't attracting attention, I asked, "Have you managed to contact the others?"

He nodded again. "Dr. Raven and Mr. Eilerson both know the plans as far as the rendezvous. They're nervous, but they're both up for it. That should be enough, shouldn't it? Just the four of us?" I could see he was concerned that the operation should be a success. He knew that I was placing a lot of trust in him, allowing him to organize this, as I'd never delegated this sort of thing before.

"Four is plenty. I thought about asking Sergeant Healy to join us, but he's not far away from retirement now and if anything goes wrong... well, I'd hate for him to get caught in the crossfire." My Sergeant at Arms had been with me for a number of years. I wasn't going to do anything that would jeopardize his pension and a peaceful retirement.

John was still nervous. He was doing his best to conceal it, but I could tell. I'd learned in the time we worked together to see past the cool, calm exterior to the true person underneath, and that person was scared. He had reason to be. We all did. We were taking a hell of a risk with this operation, and the consequences of failure... I refused to even allow myself to think about it. The operation was going to be a success.

I spoke quietly, trying to put as much confidence into my voice as possible. "It'll be fine John, don't worry about it. I'm sure you've done a great job on the preparations, and everything will be fine." I tried to make myself believe in my own words. Fortunately, I have a better poker face than my XO, so I think he bought it.

Angel sat back in the seat of her sofa, her eyes narrowing. The Ball of Sight hovered in front of her, showing an open window on the Bridge. She'd been careful to open it behind the Captain's chair, where neither Gideon nor Matheson would see it. After her earlier experiences playing Poltergeist with the Captain, she was extremely wary about him finding out when she was watching. She shifted in her seat at the memory of what he'd done to get even, her nipples hardening at the thought of it. She'd done her best to conceal the fact that she'd actually had an orgasm while he was spanking her, but she suspected that he knew.

When they'd met up at dinner that evening, Demon had a grin on her face that made it clear exactly what she and Matthew had been doing beforehand. Angel didn't have to be an empath like her sister to pick up on the sexual satisfaction that the couple had been exuding all evening. Their body language alone had said everything. Angel had been half surprised that they hadn't just slid under the table and started making love right there.

Angel sighed and tried not to feel sorry for herself. She longed desperately for someone to love her, physically and emotionally, as Gideon loved her sister. She told herself yet again, that one day she'd find someone to love.

She turned her attention back to the window created by her Ball of Sight just in time to hear the quiet instructions Matheson was giving into his headset. A feline smile spread across her lips.

Matthew Gideon

Deborah leaned down and kissed me on the forehead, before she left our quarters. She had Marcus tucked under one arm, where he struggled against her grip. He was giggling as he did so, enjoying the fact that she was holding him almost upside down. My son is a strange kid. There's nothing he likes more than being held up in the air and thrown around. He certainly doesn't have his mother's dislike of heights. In between giggles, he kept saying, "Higher, Mummy, higher."

Deborah straightened and launched him upwards, catching him as he fell squealing with delight into her arms. "OK, that's enough. Your Auntie Lily is expecting us, and you know that Dasha wants to show you his new toys." All of the kids had been spoiled rotten with gifts for the holidays, and Marcus had his fair share of new things to show his cousins too. Deborah had arranged to spend the evening with her sisters and Dureena, making the most of the short time Max, Ilas and Dureena were spending with us, while we were stationed outside Babylon 5.

She smiled down at me as she lifted Marcus to sit astride her shoulders, holding him in place with one hand while she reached down to slide her fingers through my hair with the other. I think she was trying to make a point about the slightly peculiar haircut that I had just then. Every time I looked in the mirror, I reminded myself not to piss off a Technomage or his pet dragon, ever again.

"Are you sure you don't mind me going out and taking Marcus?" I grabbed her hand and kissed it gently.

"Go and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about me. I'm looking forward to a nice quiet evening." I gestured to the data pad lying on the sofa next to me. "I may go back to my office, so don't be surprised if I'm not here when you get back, and don't wait up, OK?" I kept the smile plastered on my face and kept my feelings under control. After more than a year of living with an empath, I'd got pretty good at keeping some feelings to myself. I was determined that she shouldn't detect my anxiety.

As soon as Deborah had told me that she was spending the evening with her sisters, I knew that this was the time. The opportunity was too good to miss. I just hoped that she'd never find out what I planned to be doing while she was away.

I watched appreciatively as she walked to the door of our quarters, with Marcus sitting on her shoulders, Half-Ted clutched in his hand. Her hips swayed in a motion that never failed to excite me, and for a moment, I wondered what I was doing. Wouldn't it make more sense to just stay home and wait for my wife to return? I could be waiting for her in bed, stripped and ready for action... I pushed that thought away, before it produced the effect that thinking of Deborah naked always had on me. No, I had to go through with this now. I was committed.

I checked the clock on the wall. 17:55.

John Matheson

I looked down at Lily as she curled up on the sofa, Faylinn tucked in on one side of her, Dasha on the other, as she read them a story. Her beautiful red hair cascaded around her shoulders, and her swollen belly stood out prominently. Our new baby was due in less than a month, but so far, Lily had resisted all tests to see which of us was the father. When Dureena had asked her if she wasn't curious to know, she'd smiled her mysterious smile and said, 'It's ours.' And Lily was right, nothing would ever change the fact that this child was ours.

For a moment, I regretted having to leave her, but Luke was waiting for me by the door, so I bent over to kiss her. "Have a good evening with your sisters. Are you sure you don't mind me going over to Matthew's to work, while Luke is on duty? I could stay, if you want me to."

As I expected, she smiled and shook her head. The last thing she wanted was me hanging around, while her sisters visited and brought their children over. I wondered momentarily what state our quarters would be in by the time Luke and I returned. Marcus and Faylinn could create havoc when they played together, with Dasha quietly watching and trying to tidy up after them. Sometimes I think my son is too like me for his own good. Just because I spent my life picking up after Matthew, doesn't mean that my son should do the same for his son.

When you added Vya to the mix of children, things could get explosive. Although several months younger than his cousins, he was already nearly twice their size. If he were human, you would have guessed him to be four or five, not his real age of sixteen months. But he loved visiting his cousins and playing with them, and they all had new toys to show off. I was willing to bet credits on Marcus dragging Half-Ted along with him though. The poor bear only had one ear, but still never left Marcus' side. Demon and Matthew had bought him several new bears, but none had ever replaced Half-Ted in Marcus' affections. He was as loyal to his friends as his father, but just like his father, Marcus was quite capable of leading his friends into trouble. I wondered again just how much trouble Matthew was going to get us into that night.

I kissed Lily on the forehead, then wished her and the children good night, telling her I might not be back until late. As the door closed behind us I turned to Luke and asked, "Why are we doing this? Tell me again, please?"

Luke grinned. "Captain's orders."

Max Eilerson

I turned and hugged Ilas and Dureena goodbye, wondering why in heavens I was leaving them. When Gideon had asked me to join him that evening, I had been too flattered to even think of refusing. It had never occurred to me that the Captain would think of me as suitable for participating in his scheme. I was determined to prove to these military types that I could hold my own amongst them. Anyway, Raven would be there, and I was sure that he had even less experience of this sort of thing than I had. It would be up to Luke and me to show the Captain and Commander that we civilians could beat them at their own game. I might never aspire to the heights of deviousness that Gideon achieved, but I knew that I was smarter than him. Brains would win the day.

Matthew Gideon

I looked around at the men gathered in my quarters and barked, "Report." John straightened instinctively, and even Luke twitched more upright. Max just looked cynical. Well, Max always looks cynical, he can't help it.

John responded quickly. "Lily is home with the children, waiting for her sisters and Dureena to join her. Everything is in place. "

I turned to Max and raised an eyebrow. He sighed and gave a languid wave of one hand. "If you insist. Ilas and Dureena were just leaving to take Vya to see Lily and his cousins, when I left. They should be there by now. I really don't see why..." I cut him off before he could continue.

"No, I don't suppose you do, but John and Luke do, don't you?" I turned to the other men, and they nodded seriously. "You don't know what it's like Max, you... never mind." I turned back to John. "Deborah left a few moments ago, and she should be at your place by now. So, where do we go from here?"

John lowered his voice. I almost laughed. He'd got so used to whispering details to me on the Bridge that he now did it automatically. "We proceed to the mess hall on deck 14. Everything is laid out ready for us. I checked that the supplies had arrived this afternoon. Did you all bring the necessary items?" We all nodded so he continued. "Matthew are you sure about this? You know if Earthforce ever find out..."

"Yeah, I know, the minimum is another reprimand. Well, one more of those won't make much difference at this stage. The worst is court martial." I shrugged. "Who cares? I have a rich wife." I grinned. "OK men, let's go."

Luke Raven

We made our way to the bullet car, trying not to attract attention, but somehow Max and John managed to look furtive, even while doing their best to look nonchalant. Matthew looked his normal self, the frown on his face sufficient to put most people off approaching him. While marriage and parenthood--and a regular supply of sex--had mellowed him considerably, he was still a demanding Captain, and not to be messed with. I just hoped that the 'stay away' signals he was emanating were sufficient to cover up for John and Max's poor performances.

I'd had reservations about this whole idea, since it was first mentioned. The potential for disaster was high, but the potential rewards were just too tempting to resist. I've never been that much of a gambler, but somehow on this occasion, I just had to go along with the Captain's plan. He was a risk taker and a winner, and we were all gambling on his luck tonight.

As we entered the bullet car, there was a big part of me that was praying for a call from Medbay, saying that I was needed for an emergency. That was the only way I was going to get out of this now, I was in too deep.

Matthew Gideon

We sat on the bullet car in silence, and I knew that my three companions were having second thoughts about what we were doing. If something went wrong, the consequences could be dire, but it had to be done. As we arrived at the deck 14 stop, I stood and turned to the others. "OK, remember now, we're in this together. Try to look casual and don't raise any suspicions. We have all night for this, if we need it. Let's go"

We disembarked, and strolled towards the mess hall that John had prepared for us. He and Max looked about as relaxed as two Christians who'd just been told that it was feeding time for the lions. Hopeless. Luke was looking much cooler, and even managed a smile and a nod at a passing crewmember. I'd have to watch him later. If he was that cool under pressure...

We arrived at the door to the mess hall, and John approached it, keying in the code needed to unlock the door. We'd taken that precaution, to ensure no one else could appropriate the supplies that had been delivered there. The door slid open, to show the room in total darkness beyond. John hissed, "Go!" at us and we slipped inside. As the door shut behind us, we were plunged into total darkness. John called for lights, and they gradually lit up the room. The sight that awaited us was just about the most terrifying thing I've seen in my entire career.

Demon was struggling not to laugh as the lights went up, and they could see the four men standing at the door, all looking like rabbits frozen in the headlights. She smiled sweetly at her husband and said, "Hello, darling. Did you lose your way to the office?" then turned back to her sisters.

Lily had her dagger held out in front of her and was using it to deftly slice the peel off an orange. Each swift stroke scored a line down the spherical object, then she started peeling back the skin. She turned to Ilas, who sat between her and Dureena, her eyes following the dagger's every move, and said, "See? The dagger is a much more versatile instrument. I can inflict as much damage as I like with the point, and I still have both edges to work with if I need them." She was leaning forwards with her elbows on the table, her swollen belly making it difficult for her to reach.

Dureena shook her head and drew a large hunting knife from a holster at the back of her neck. "Too small. If you need to get really serious, you need something like this." She slammed the knife, edge down, onto the orange sitting in front of her. It fell into two halves, one of which she picked up and started to suck as she stared at Max, still frozen in the doorway.

Ilas, still not paying any attention to the men, giggled. "You really have an edge with that one."

Angel reached into her own shoulder holster and pulled out the stiletto she always kept there. "You don't really need the edges. If you have a sharp enough point..." She speared her orange on the end of the stiletto, then used the tip to rapidly cut it into quarters, "... it's just as effective." She lifted one quarter and sank her sharp teeth into the fruit, as Ilas clapped her hands.

Demon was watching the men out of the corner of her eye, and Matthew in particular. He was leaning back against the door with his arms crossed, watching the proceedings with some amusement. Time to wipe that smug smile off his face. She lifted the bottle of beer she had in front of her and took a swig, carefully licking around the neck, then running her tongue down the outside of the bottle to catch a drip. She heard Matthew's sharp intake of breath, as she took the whole neck of the bottle into her mouth and pulled her lips slowly back along the glass. Placing the bottle back on the table, the tall blonde flipped her skirt back from her thigh, making sure that all four men got a good look at the length of leg underneath, stopping just short of showing her panties. She knew that Matthew would be wondering whether she was wearing any, and that he'd be half-afraid that he and his friends were about to find out.

Demon pulled out the knife she kept in her thigh holster and slammed it, point down, into the orange in front of her. It pierced the fruit completely, pinning it to the table. Taking another long, slow swig from the bottle, she could see that Matthew had straightened up and was no longer looking so relaxed. She turned to her sisters and smiled. "I know you all have your favorites, but I still swear by a good serrated edge with a sharp point. You get the best of both worlds."

She held the orange in place and slowly drew the blade downwards, cutting one side of the orange as she went, accompanied by Ilas' "Ooooh!" of delight. From the corner of her eye, she could see Mathew licking dry lips, and backing toward the door.

Matthew Gideon

I knew we were in trouble as soon as the lights went up, and we could see the five women sitting around the table, drinking our beer. Sudden thoughts of MacBeth flew through my mind. Of course, he was lucky. He only had three witches to worry about. Any newts and bats in the vicinity had better run for cover. With this lot around, their life expectancy was close to zero.

The women each had a bottle in front of them, and Dureena was using the case that held the rest of our beer supplies as a footrest. For some reason, I had no desire whatsoever to try and liberate it from her. That may have had something to do with the size of the pig-sticker knife she was waving around.

When Lily and Angel started mutilating the oranges they had in front of them, [Our oranges. Do you know how hard it is to get fresh oranges?] I decided it was time to leave. Watching women bringing knives and spherical objects in close proximity to each other doesn't exactly thrill any man.

Then my modest, demure and well-behaved wife took a swig from the bottle of beer that was close to obscene, and flipped up her skirt. For one god-awful moment, I thought she was going to display a part of her anatomy about which I'm extremely possessive! She stopped just short of that, but still gave us all a good, long look at a length of thigh that no other woman in the room could match, and I can tell you that those thighs are well worth a look. I came damned close to telling John and Max to put their eyeballs back in their sockets where they belonged. And as for Luke... Doctors are NOT supposed to salivate at the sight of female flesh, are they?

Deborah left her thighs exposed, as she went back to discussing how much damage a sharp knife could do to a round object. Then she picked up the bottle of beer again and started doing things to it with her mouth that made my breathing accelerate. I felt as if someone had my balls in a vice, and I knew damn well who it was! On the one hand, what she was doing to that bottle of beer was an instant inducement to an erection. On the other hand, [Don't think of hands right now, Matt, what she's doing with her mouth is bad enough,] watching Lily slice her orange into slivers, while Dureena and Angel sank their teeth into theirs, could leave a man impotent for a month.

They had us bang to rights, [Oh god, did you have to think about banging?] and they knew it. I tried a cheesy smile, figuring that if all else failed, I could fall back on the rugged handsomeness. "Hello, ladies. I thought you were having your night out at Lily's?"

All five turned and smiled at me. I think they smiled. Maybe they just bared their teeth. As usual, Deborah was spokesperson. "Oh, we were, but then we discovered that you'd thoughtfully arranged for the delivery of beer and fruit and other nice things." She gestured at the box on which Angel rested her feet. Damn, that was where the pretzels had gone. "But Matthew, they seem to have sent them to the wrong place. I'm sure you would have given instructions for them to be sent to Lily's rooms, as a nice surprise for us, wouldn't you?"

Then she held up the shiny new, wrapped pack of cards that had been included with the supplies. I hadn't had a new deck to play with for months, and my fingers twitched with the desire to take it off her, to gently unwrap it and open the pack. To run my hands over the untouched cards, virgin, clean, ready to be manipulated by my skillful fingers. Deborah waved them gently at me and smiled even more sweetly. "But why did you order these? You know that none of us is very fond of card games." My heart nearly stopped, as she brought the rough edge of her knife towards the pack. Oh, she wouldn't, would she?

My darling wife delicately inserted the point of the knife into the edge of the wrapper, just nicking the surface, then looked up at me seriously. "Of course, if we thought that you'd ordered all these nice things for yourselves, just for a boys' poker night, and hadn't planned to cut us in on the deal, we might be a little hurt, mightn't we ladies? In fact, we might even feel rather cut up about it, and we could get a little sharp, if you hurt our feelings like that."

Four other heads nodded. For a brief moment, I wondered what they'd done with the children, then I realized that they'd either left them at the Medbay crèche or found some poor bastard to baby sit for them--probably Trace. [Alone with all four kids? Lord have mercy on him!]

I could see Max, Luke and John sidling towards the door, happy that all the attention seemed focused on me. Thanks guys. I could almost hear them thinking, 'It was his idea, he's the Captain, blame him.' By now my mind was working overtime, but the ideas I was coming up with certainly weren't worth paying extra for.

Lily let out an exaggerated sigh, looking at her two men, who froze immediately. "We've only been hand-fasted for a year or so, but sadly it seems that the bliss is over, since they're so desperate to get away from me..."

Again four heads nodded, and Deborah said, "Maybe they've all got the seven year itch early? I think we should help them scratch it, with something sharp."

Her grin would have sent Attila the Hun running for cover. My, what big teeth you have, darling. And Lily's matched it, as she murmured, "Just as long as you don't cut anything asunder on my men..." I swear John's face drained of all color at that comment!

"Cut the comedy, you're scaring them," Ilas said in her sweetest voice, which somehow didn't match the sneer on her face, as she leaned back in her chair, grinning at Max.

Angel snickered as she looked at us, with her head cocked to the side. "Gosh, that wasn't the point at all."

Dureena let her eyes roam across all of us before settling on me. "We're still waiting for you to cut to the facts, Captain."

Deborah turned back round to look at me, eyes wide. "Yes, Matthew. Cat got your tongue? Cut it off, has she?"

I groaned mentally and wondered just how many knife puns they could come up with. I decided that it could take all night to find out, so tried the charming smile again. I didn't have a lot else at my disposal just then. "I have no idea at all where the cards came from, it's a complete mystery to me." Why do I even bother? My wife's an empath, for god's sake! She can read me like a book! I continued to draw a dotted line around my neck, complete with the instruction, 'Cut here.'

"When I heard that the supplies had been sent here by mistake, I decided to come along personally to retrieve them for you. I just happened to bump into Max, John and Luke on the way, and they wanted to come and help me." [Pathetic, Matt, truly pathetic.] "It was supposed to be a nice surprise for you. You spoiled it. How did you find out?"

Lily, Ilas, Dureena and Deborah rose as one, leaving Angel playing with her knife as she sat resting her feet on MY pretzels. As they approached us, I found myself wondering why I'd fallen in love with such a big woman. She looked twice the size of the others as she drew closer. What did John and Luke have to worry about? Lily's tiny; they could fight her off easily. Ilas and Dureena aren't exactly tall either, surely Max could handle them? [Be fair, Matt. Dureena packs a hell of a punch for her size.] But Deborah can look me in the eye when she wears low heels, as she did right then.

She stopped, when she couldn't progress any further. My back was against the wall, and her breasts were pressed into my chest. Well, the evening wasn't a total loss. Her nose was almost touching mine, and I found myself going cross-eyed trying to stare her down. Then I lost it completely, as she reached between my legs and gently squeezed my balls. Deborah moved her head until her mouth was just touching my ear, her hand still holding and massaging my testicles lightly.

She whispered, "Matthew, if you want a night out with the boys, just say so, but I can promise you, a night in with the girls can be much more fun." She ran her tongue lightly around my ear--yes, the sore one, the one Ishtar had flamed--and the combination of her tongue and hand produced the inevitable result. I had an erection that made the main gun look small by comparison. My knees were trembling, and I knew that if she kept doing what she was doing, I was going to slide down the wall into a boneless, whimpering heap on the carpet. Not the most dignified position for the Captain of a Starship.

I managed to gasp out, "I'll deal you in. Just let go, will you?" and she released her grip. I'm still not sure whether I groaned with pleasure or disappointment, but groan I certainly did. I managed a sideways glance and saw that Lily had both John and Luke pinned to the wall. You might wonder how such a tiny woman kept two men, both much larger than her, frozen in place. If you saw what she was doing with her swollen belly to John and with her hands to Luke, you wouldn't ask. Dureena had Max on his knees between her legs, his head buried so deep between her breasts that I was surprised he could breathe. Maybe he couldn't. Maybe he didn't care. Especially since Ilas stood behind him, her breasts pressing against the back of his head and her fingers massaging his chest.

Deborah stepped back and smiled. "Now you know I never play card games. As an empath, I can read people too easily. John may be too honorable to cheat, but I'm not." She leaned back into me again, and whispered in my ear, her hot breath sending shivers down my spine. "Play your game and when you've finished, come back to our quarters. My little friend and I will be waiting for you." She waved that damned knife in front of my eyes. "If you lie still while I cut your clothes off, I won't have to cut anything else."

I closed my eyes and groaned again, as I felt Deborah move away from me. When I opened my eyes, I saw she'd moved back to the table, where she picked up the bottle she'd been drinking from and the orange she'd cut. The other women followed her, debating whether the children or Trace would be more upset about their long absence, and Angel stood up to join them. They left the room quickly and without further remarks in our direction, except for Angel. She paused as she passed me, and stood on tiptoe to whisper in my ear.

"Don't forget, you're not the only one around here with Balls, Captain."

Then they were gone.

I took a deep, shuddering breath and staggered towards the table, half falling into one of the chairs the women had vacated. Picking up the pack of cards that lay there, I unwrapped it and opened the pack, tipping the cards into my hand. I shuffled them carefully for a moment, using the motion to steady my shaking hands. I still had a hard on that an elephant would have been proud of, but after a few moments, I managed to calm my breathing enough to speak. I held the pack of cards up to the others.

"Who wants to cut?"

The Witches of Eriadne: Interlude Four G

{Part 1: Room Service} {Part 2: Knives and Balls}

{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]