Index > Earth
Earth Sweet Home
Copyright © 2001 David E. Rutan
It was three years before. Linda stepped off the lunar shuttle, followed by the other passengers and entered the Lunacorp entry station. She went to the receptionist and handed over her ID card.
"Hello Linda, Haven't seen you up here in a while." said the man behind the desk.
"Hi Floyd. I was grounded for a while--heavy workload. Have you seen Spencer lately?"
Floyd smiled and handed back her ID. "Last time I saw him--"
"I'm right here Dollface." It was Spencer, standing in the portal leading into the facility. She walked over to him and gave him a hug.
He smiled broadly. "Is that all I get after two months?"
She kissed him and whispered in his ear. "Wait till later."
Spencer took her hand and relieved her of the small suitcase. He guided her through the doorway and into the long corridor leading into the Lunacorp complex from the landing pad. "How's your mom?"
"She's fine," said Linda, glancing at him. "Why are you still smiling?"
Spencer looked at her. "No reason. I'm just glad to see you. Have you eaten?"
She shot her eyes toward the ceiling and put a hand to her stomach. "If you could call it that. You know what they serve on the shuttles."
"Good, let's drop your bag off and catch supper. Then I want to show you something."
Linda stopped in her tracks. Maybe she knew why he was so happy. "Let me guess, you got positive results on the new Pod tests? Why didn't you call me?"
His smile faded. "No, and we still can't find the reason either. I think the hardware they sent up from Houston is substandard."
She resumed walking, gently pulling him along by the hand. "I guess we'll just keep trying then. You and I know the hyperspace generators worked on the first pod. We just don't know why they won't work now."
Now Spencer stopped and turned to her. "Linda, could we talk about this on company time? I'm off-shift and you just got here. I'd like to save work until tomorrow if I could."
She reached up and whispered in his ear, "Okay, Space Bear."
He grimaced slightly and whispered back, "I wish you wouldn't call me that in public."
Linda looked up and down the empty corridor. "What public?"
"You know what I mean--Doll." He smiled again.
"I wish I knew what was with you," she said as they resumed their walk.
After the supper of hydroponically-grown produce and poultry, Linda sat back in her chair across from Spencer and dabbed the corners of her mouth with her napkin. "Nothing beats the taste of Mom's homegrown veggies," she said, "but at least Luna is sustenance self-sufficient now."
"It's still just food to me," said Spencer.
"So, what did you want to show me?" Linda leaned over the table and broke into a grin.
He raised a finger. "Wait till after dessert."
"Okay, I'll have a slice of cantaloupe."
Spencer rose and brought back Linda's request and a cup of raspberry-flavored ice for himself. Whatever he was holding back, it must be good. Usually a request like that would be answered by their usual playful banter.
A few minutes later, Spencer clinked his spoon into his bowl and glanced at his wristtop. "Are you ready?"
She nodded and pushed her chair from the table to rise. Immediately he was there to help her up--like a gentleman from the twentieth century. "I think I'm going to like this surprise."
Spencer led her to an observation lounge. In the dim light she noticed it was conspicuously empty. The dozen or so seats tucked into the space were never empty. When she was new to the complex she'd often tried to get the room to herself, the quarters on Luna were notoriously cramped. "What's up?"
Spencer beckoned her over to the best seats. She sat down. Spencer slid down next to her and slipped his arm around her. This was incredible behavior for Spencer, he was usually so stoic.
"I've really missed you Linda," he said.
There was silence. Was he waiting for a reply? She touched the hand that was hanging over her shoulder and turned to look at him. "I missed you too. Two months is a long time to depend on the vid-phone."
She heard him say, very softly, "Look out the window. I wanted you to see this."
Linda turned back to face the window. As if on cue, the opacity of the glass vanished and she saw the blue and white Earth hanging over the desolate Moonscape. It was so long since Linda had stopped to view Earth from Luna she'd forgotten how beautiful it was.
They sat in silence; neither one wanted to disturb the moment.half of the globe was visible, and Spencer took a breath to speak.
"When I first saw this, I thought it was one of the most beautiful things in the cosmos--then I remembered you."
Linda felt herself start to blush. This was the last thing she'd expected and it was making her feel warm and fuzzy inside. She turned to look at him as he continued, "Linda, the only thing I can think of that would be more lovely than seeing this everyday would be to see you at my side every morning. Will you marry me?"
Linda was utterly speechless. She fully expected this day would come, but she hadn't anticipated it. Her mind was fuzzing out; it was all like a dream. She heard someone who looked and sounded like her say, "Yes, of course I'll marry you!"
They kissed. Linda pulled away from the seatback and her arms went around his neck. She wanted to hug him forever, because not since before her husband, Andrew died had she felt this good.
It was during this that the lights came on and a clearing throat was heard. They broke up and looked over at the door. The janitor looked as astonished as she was.
"I'm sorry, Ms. Prescott, Mr. Oedipus, I didn't know you were in here."
"It's okay, Charlie," said Spencer. "I forgot to ask you about skipping it tonight."
"We were about to leave anyway," said Linda. Then she whispered in his ear, in Kopanset, "Let's go to my place."
They left the lounge and walked down the hall, arm in arm. The only thing she could think of was the strangeness of the situation, and the anticipation of consummating their engagement.
To date she and Spencer had never had sex with each other. She had thought about it several times during the year since they returned from the Alliance, but he never took the hints. Maybe it was just the flip side of dating an honorable man. Tonight she would convince him.
At the door to her room they kissed as she swiped her ID through the reader on the wall. They went inside. Being a department supervisor, Linda's quarters were larger than most. She had room for a proper bed, a table and even a stand-alone desk.
"I was thinking of a one year engagement," said Spencer.
"That sounds good to me," Linda said as she went into the water closet.
"We'll get a ring next time I'm planetside," he said through the door. She stripped off her shoes, blouse and bra, then put the blouse back on buttoned only halfway up. Glancing in the mirror, Linda hoped she looked as good as she felt. She opened the door and stepped out.
In her most sultry voice she said, "Ready to celebrate?"
Spencer's eyes widened and his face went ashen. He stood there looking for a moment, then he turned his head away slightly. Then he turned back and looked directly into her eyes. "Celebrate?"
"Yes," she said, sliding over to him. "We just got engaged, I thought it would be appropriate."
"But we're only engaged--not married."
"It's almost the same thing," she said.
"Not to me Linda. I don't go for lightly pairing-up. Besides I'm supposed to respect you."
"Believe me Spence, there's no way you won't respect me. I know you too well." Spencer slowly stepped back, pulled out a chair and sat down. Linda sat on the corner of the bed closest to him. Maybe it was time to be blunt.
"Don't I interest you sexually?" She thought he started to blush. He was looking at the floor.
"Yes, you do, Linda. That's not the problem. In my culture--my grandfather always taught me sex was for marriage."
"But we are getting married. I don't think you're going to change your mind."
"Linda," he sighed, "it's hard to explain I..."
"Spence, whatever's bothering you--you can tell me."
He sat there, glancing up at her every so often. Then he sighed. "I was engaged once before. We broke with tradition--Observers can do things like that. We were living together--pairing up, but then she left me. It was very painful." He sighed again. "If it's alright I'd just rather wait."
Linda felt terrible having to draw this out. She went over and put her arm around him. Looking up into his eyes, she said, "Would it be okay if we just cuddled on the bed? I promise to keep one foot on the floor."
He sat facing her. "What?"
"Mom told me that in the early movies, the male and female actors couldn't be filmed in a reclining position together unless they kept one foot on the floor."
Spencer laughed. "Actually I think I'd like that." A smile appeared on his face. "Just one thing," he said, looking deep into her eyes. Spencer's hands moved to the buttons of her blouse and slowly fastened them up to her neck. "This was getting to me."
Linda smiled and sat on the center of the bed. "I'll remember that for after the wedding." She held her arms open for him. Spencer turned out the overhead light and joined her, putting his arms around her. It felt so good to have him there. They talked for a while and eventually fell asleep in each other's arms.
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