I wrote a new novella!
Binding -- A Vega-5 Story
The descriptions is as follows:
Vega-5 is the place where dreams do come true, even the ones you didn’t know you had. It said so, right on the brochure. Bernat Arnad had little hope of his own dreams coming true but there was hope, and that was something to hold on to even if he did have to learn to let go first.
and the excerpt:
Bernat turned the brochure over in his hands again. On the front cover it had the infamous planet’s slogan, ‘What happens on Vega-5, stays on Vega-5.’ Inside there were promotional images of activities for every lifestyle, some that piqued his interest as much as they caused him to blush and flush with desire. ‘Where dreams do come true’ was splashed across them. He needed to get away from everything—work, life—from responsibility.
He and Dido were supposed to make this trip together. They had planned it two years ago, but then she had the accident. Then there was the funeral and he forgot about it with everything else as he pulled his life back together. By the time he remembered, it was too late to cancel everything.
So he decided to go, and rather than take some random ‘date’ on the trip his wife planned, he would take Poppet instead. She needed some fun in her life as much as he did. He talked to the travel agent who altered as many of the arrangements as possible. The accommodations that had been a cozy, couples-only bed and breakfast that Dido chose changed to a venue more suited for Poppet. The couples-only activities were now family oriented excursions that a little girl would enjoy. Bernat was wondering what kinds of things he would be subjected, to but he was sure it wouldn’t be the vacation he and Dido planned, and it definitely wouldn’t be the vacation he needed. He looked at the brochure with a longing he couldn’t explain, sighed, and then set it aside. If his dreams couldn’t come true, he hoped his daughter’s dreams could.
Maybe. If …
“What will we do there, Daddy?” Poppet asked. Her grey eyes, so much like his, were set in a face that was framed in fire-gold ringlets like her mother’s. There was even a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. Sometimes just looking at her made his heart ache and his libido die.
“It’s like one huge party, Poppet, with all new friends. I’m sure there will be lots of things for young ladies your age to enjoy,” he said as he picked up and returned the brochure to its place with a soft sigh. There would be a time for that. Someday.
“But what will you be doing?” She looked up at him.
Then he smiled at his little girl. “I’ll be enjoying our vacation too, and looking after you, of course.”
When they arrived, a shuttle met them to take them to their hotel. The Sun Shine Inn was painted bright yellow with white shutters and flower boxes. It had separate cottage-like buildings with a few rooms per cottage making each look like a separate little house. Bernat hated it as soon as he saw it. However, Poppet lit up and squealed.
The young woman standing behind the check in desk met them with a smile. “Penelope and Bernat Arnad, we’ve been expecting you.”
“How’d they do that Daddy?” The little girl turned and looked at him in awe.
“I don’t know, Poppet.” He leaned down and whispered loud enough for the young lady behind the desk to hear, “Maybe they’re magic.”
“The staff at the Sun Shine Inn is here to make you and your daddy's dreams come true, Penelope. Now, let’s get you checked in so you and your daddy can have some play time.”
Bernat was confused for a moment but he followed. They stopped just inside a round room with a raised dais in the center. On the dais were two controls that looked very much like a ball and a button. The walls were white, square panels and the floor had blue glow strips around the edges, including a walkway from the door to the dais.
“This is our dream room.” He listened to the woman explaining to his daughter as they walked up the walkway to the dais. “This is the control center, where you are in control. This moves the chooser and this makes it your choice.” She indicated the two controls. “All you have to do is pick the things you like best and our staff will make sure you get to do as many things on your dream list as possible while you are here. Are you ready to begin?”
Poppet nodded and the room darkened, the walls lit up with images and the edges of one glowed. She moved the ball and the glow moved from one image to another.
“Look Daddy! Tea parties!”
“That sounds like fun, sweetie, do they say who all is invited to these tea parties?”
“There’s different ones.”
“Then pick the one you like best. I’m sure it will be fun.”
Bernat watched as Poppet picked hiking Candy Mountain, chasing faery-flies, swimming with sea creatures, various picnics, and other activities from the choices. With each selection she became more and more excited and he grew more and more resigned to a vacation he really didn’t want. However, each time she turned and looked at him in obvious enjoyment he smiled and encouraged her to choose the things she liked. Finally there was a beep and all the choices went grey.
“Very good choices!” the check in girl told Poppet, “now for your ID.” She held out a bracelet in lime green.
“My favorite color,” Poppet said as she stuck out her hand.
“Just as it should be, now do you think we should make your daddy wear one too?”
Poppet nodded and the young woman produced another, in lime green. Bernat scowled but stuck out his hand. The bracelet went on and was snugged up so it would not come off.
“There, now we know which daddy belongs to you. In case you forget, your room number is on your bracelet. See here.” She pointed. “It says 3-A. You will have an activity nanny and there will always be a nanny at your house. Your bracelet will help you remember which activities you want to do and if your daddy is off having a play time of his own, your nanny will make sure you are up on time, fed, dressed, at your activities, and go to bed.”
When she finished talking, a young man arrived.
“Daddy’s turn,” he said with a smile.
Bernat looked between the two adults, then down at Poppet. “No,” he shook his head, “I don’t think I’ll need ….”
“Come on Mr. Arnad, all adults have play time too. Their children will have activities that will keep them occupied, then what will you do?”
“Go with her?”
“Tea parties?” The young man crossed his arms and cocked his head. “At least let me fit you with the proper hat and gloves then.”
Bernat blushed. “Well maybe not the tea party.”
“Maybe you would like to go sky diving? Or rock climbing? We have varied choices. It won’t take but a few minutes to pick.”
“It’s okay Daddy. Have fun.” Poppet bounced happily. “What is a faery-fly?”
“Why don’t I explain that while Henry helps your daddy?” She took Poppet’s hand and led her away.
Henry waited until they were down the hall then he opened a different door, one that required a code to open. “Would you like to step into our Adult Dream Room?”
The room was identical to the one Poppet used with its blank white walls and a blue glowing floor.
“You stand here. Answer the questions honestly, and make your choices. The best advice I can give you is to not think, just respond. The faster you let the responses come, the more truthful they will be.” Henry smiled reassuringly and left Bernat alone. Once the door slid shut the choices showed up on the panels. The first set caused him to pause. There were two panels lit up each had words: sex, no sex. Bernat took a deep breath as he moved the glowing border over to light up ‘no sex’. No that wasn’t right, if he were honest with himself, he needed to have sex.
The no-strings-attached, raunchy kind of sex that one has on vacation where no one knows you and no one will remember you when you leave.
He couldn’t do that at home. He might not be able to do that on this vacation, but he was going to try. Then he could work on a relationship. He and Dido had promised. If anything happened, anything at all, whoever survived would move on: for Poppet, for themselves, for the love they had shared. He had tried it the other way around – relationship, then sex – which just left him frustrated beyond belief. That just led him to a few more disastrous attempts at dating and trying to do it right.
Well, now it was well past time to move his life forward, and if that meant a few nights of debauchery then he was up for the challenge. He moved the glow and before he could change his mind, he clicked accept, ‘sex’.
Fifteen minutes later, Bernat stumbled out of the room.
“Whoa there, that was fast,” Henry said as he caught Bernat before he fell.
“That was … weird.”
A little panel on the wall chirped and a small door opened. Henry took out a small rectangular object and pocketed it.
Don't let the gooey sweetness fool ya.... it gets hot fast.
If you are still interested it can be found at the following: