Part 25 of an original tale that delves into the unexplored realms of the human mind. Hired by her lover to find a raven haired beauty, Benjamin Bering must avoid the local police as well as the agents of a nonexistent government agency who are after him and the woman. There are just two problems. The woman is in a coma and her body has been stolen. (Part 1 can be found HERE.)
When neither Michelle nor I answered her, Susan must have sensed something wasn't right. A quick study of our faces confirmed it.
Michelle spoke first, "Ben, she will have to see it sooner or later. She really should know. It's only right."
I nodded in agreement to Michelle's words. Susan faced me and placed her hands on my chest and said, "Something tells me I might regret this, but I choose sooner."
I related to her what had been on the first scene of the disc, and added that Michelle and I had no recollection of it. Michelle had then chimed in hoping to soften the blow, "Susan my dear, you are going to see yourself as a test subject also. More than once, I'm afraid."
"Wait a minute!" she snapped. "I've never had one of those things on my head. I would never have consented, let alone perform one of your experiments with some man."
"Susan," Michelle said, "This disc and what's on it were not our tests! I don't know ... I have no recollection of being a part of them. I only know of the tests Michael and I conducted - and we were the only subjects."
She grew pensive as she eased herself onto the sofa. She managed a nervous smile and asked in jest, "So, where's the popcorn?"
Much to my chagrin Michelle played the disc from the beginning. I felt Susan's eyes trained on me for part of the scene but I did not return the gesture. As mine and Michelle's onscreen images reached a climax Susan shifted in her seat and whispered, "Why Ben Bering, you certainly get around, don't you?"
"Susan," I said clearing my throat, "I was not aware that this took place. I don't remember ..."
She seemed to ignore me and spoke instead to Michelle, "I must say that you have fantastic body, especially when naked."
Michelle displayed some discomfort when she replied, "Why, thank you. Let me return the compliment by saying that goes for you too." She tilted her head in the direction of the screen.
Susan gasped as her image appeared on the screen. As naked as Michelle had been in the previous scene, so too was she in that one. Although embarrassed she was quick to notice a couple of details. "My hair was colored dark ... and those earrings ... I got them for my seventeenth birthday! My God, that was eight years ago."
The young man who joined her on screen was sporting a Van Dyke beard. I groaned and lowered my head, trying to bury my face in my hands. It was my turn to show embarrassment as my younger self was already in a heightened state of arousal. In an attempt to divert attention from that part of my youthful self that was dancing with anticipation I asserted, "Seventeen? Good God! I had sex with a minor? I could've been locked up for statutory rape!"
Susan jabbed her elbow into my rib cage and teasingly berated me, "You weren't concerned about that on a certain night eight years ago." I grimaced at her cutting remark. As true as it was, it hadn't occurred to me that she might have been underage.
We remained quiet for several moments while our younger selves coupled and were soon making vigorous love in the name of science. Susan's hand came to rest on my thigh and she shifted closer to me. Once again I found myself admiring her spunk. She should have been showing anger, or in the very least have been upset at seeing herself performing the intimate act of intercourse in a less than intimate setting.
I leaned forward and tuned my ears to something faint, almost inaudible in the background of the lab. I grabbed the remote and hit the pause button. This left a frozen image of Susan and I in a most provocative and revealing position.
Susan pointed at the screen and said, "Ben, there in the middle of the screen, why don't you zoom in for a closeup?" I glared at her and shook my head. She responded to the redness on my face by starting to giggle. I could also hear Michelle giggling in spite of herself.
I tried to ignore them by drawing their attention to another part of the screen. "Susan, look to the right on the desk in the foreground. See that calendar? Look at the date."
"Sunday, July 2, 2000," she said reading the date on the calendar. "So?"
"That's two days before we met at the Check Mate Club that night. We met on Tuesday the fourth, the Fourth of July!"
She smiled, "You remember the date? Aw, that's sweet." She ran a finger across her lips and added, "The Fourth of July, huh? We sure made our own fireworks that night, didn't we?" She purred and moved her hand even higher up my thigh. She leaned back and looked up at the ceiling and mused, "Yes, our Fourth of July was certainly a memorable one. How is that we cannot remember what happened two days before?"
"That's the sixty-four thousand dollar question, isn't it?" I replied. "The calendar wasn't the reason I stopped the DVD. Bear with me while I play it backwards a few frames." At the desired moment on the disc I hit play and increased the volume. I placed a finger in front of my lips and said, "Listen. Hear the music in the background?"
He ain't heavy ... he's my brother ..."Well, I'll be," Susan muttered. She turned to me and said, "All this time I've been associating that song with that night at the club..."
Michelle took the remote from my hand and shut off the television. "I didn't realize the two of you had met before ... I mean that you would remember ... and only two days after what took place at that lab? If I might ask, and I don't mean to pry, but exactly how did you two meet? Were you introduced?"
Susan squeezed my leg and offered, "No. I remember seeing him sitting at a table. I knew he was older than me, but I thought he was a good looking guy. I guess I kind of threw myself at him."
I glanced down at her hand on my leg as she methodically moved it closer to my lap. "I was watching her out on the dancing floor," I began. "I was struck by her seemingly boundless energy ... and I couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was."
Michelle nodded and smiled. "The two of you were attracted to each other, drawn to the other. Hmmm, perhaps there was some residual, if not subconscious recognition that triggered the attraction," she suggested. "Of course, that's not to say that you would not have been attracted to each other under normal circumstances."
I had by that time moved my own hands to the center of my lap to impede any further advance by Susan's encroaching hand. "If what you are suggesting is true, then I find it incredible that our attraction to each other would remain innate for eight years, only to be resurrected by that particular song."
"Ben, remember that dream you had down in Franklin?" Susan asked. "You even creamed yourself it was so intense."
"Susan!" I protested. "Did you have to bring that up?"
Trying to stifle a giggle Michelle said, "Ben, after all we've been seeing and hearing on those discs, shouldn't you be somewhat past being embarrassed over a natural body function?"
I nodded begrudgingly and responded, "Yeah, you're right. It just seems that privacy and dignity are at a premium as of late."
"Michelle, how is it that we have no recollection of all this? How could we not remember? You know what else is eating at me? We don't appear to be under duress or having sex against our will." She sat up and looked at both Michelle and I as if expecting a logical answer. "Before I saw that DVD, I'd have sworn it never happened. I would've said that I know it didn't happen! Now I find myself saying I don't know what I know!"
(To be continued on Monday 2/23 with part 26 in O'Day of Reckoning.)