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For The Love of The Moon

He searched for her and she waited for him.
“Good morning my name is Miss Siena and I am here to talk to you about the moon,” Siena said calmly as she floated in the zero gravity.

“I am currently orbiting around the moon as this broadcast is being recorded. I have been on the Collins orbiter for the last three years and before that I was on the lunar surface at the Tranquility Research Base. What I am here to teach you about today is the selenology of the moon,” she allowed a pause for any teachers to pause for questions. As she read her notes and continued recording to the empty room she felt her thoughts going to her empty life.

Her broadcast had become second nature over the past decades, but Siena loved to talk about the moon and tried to make every lesson enjoyable for the students. She wanted to inspire the next generation to want to explore the moon or to just feel that they could take a leap to do what they loved. She had received letters from some classes, but they were all the ‘teacher said’ type of letters so she did not know if she had ever succeeded in touching a mind.

As she wrapped up this twenty minute lesson and floated over to end the recording with her usual sign off: ‘Collins Lunar Orbiter out’ she initiated the gravity and slowly felt her body drawn down. It was a mystery why she had to conduct her recordings in zero-g when the orbiter had full gravity functions, but that was the rule. She had never felt comfortable in zero-g even after spending so much time in space.

Siena left her mock class room and made her way down the dark corridor. She preferred to record her lessons during the scheduled rest times so she would not be disturbed and she like the quiet of the station. A social butterfly she was definitely not.

As she entered her quarter’s soft classical entered her ears and filled her with a desire to create. She had been writing a book about the moon for several years and it was nearing completion. It had become a way for her to unwind and be herself and with the next ‘day’ being unscheduled for her it was a prime time to create.

She sat in her soft recliner, put her feet up and opened her tablet and began where she left off the day before. Her mind was always ready to put notes to page.

After about an hour of typing and rereading her eyes were heavy. Siena closed down her tablet and made her way to bed.

Sleep had always come easy for her and her dreams now were not like when she was a child. When she was young she dreamed about getting to the moon and now she dreamed about never leaving.

“Good morning. It is now zero-eight-hundred. You have one log for today: docking of the Selene at ten-hundred,” Siena heard the automated voice state as she fluttered her eyes open.

She yawned and stretched as she kicked her covers off and sat up to look at the blackness of space from her one and only window. She yawned again, turned and threw her legs over the edge.

“Start shower,” she said to the dim room. “Lights low, music classical European low,” she said as the lights came up slightly and the soft classical of the night before resumed.

She sighed as she stood and walked over to her now warm vapor shower. Siena knew she had little time since everything was rationed. She jumped in lathered up and was just finished rinsing when the vapor stopped and the steam started. As she turned slowly to dry off she thought about what it had been like to have a real water shower. It had been years since she was on Earth since she had no one to visit. The loneliness she tried so hard to avoid set in for a moment.

“You have received a message from Doctor Marilyn Arida,” the automated voice assistant stated in its monotone computer voice simulation.

“Thank you Ava.”

Siena let the last of the steam dissipate before she exited the shower and wiped the remaining droplets off. She grabbed her brush and sat on her bed.

“Ava play message from Marilyn.”

“Message from Doctor Marilyn Arida, received zero-eight-twenty eight, today:

‘Morning Siena, are we still on for the docking today? I can’t wait to see Martin. I plan to give him a tour of the new habitat section and my new lab. You are welcome to join. He said that he has been traveling with another selenologist that seems to want to meet you. He told me his name, but I can’t remember it. Looks like you might have a kindred spirit coming aboard. See you at the docking.’

End of message.”

“Ava, reply to Marilyn:

‘I will be at the docking. I have to meet this Martin. This other selenologist is probably another stodgy, old coot like me so we should have little to talk about. I think I will probably record another lesson today so I will skip the tour. Maybe we can get together for dinner before Martin leaves.’

Ava end message and send normal.”

Siena finished brushing her hair and pulled out a pale blue jumper and smiled. She loved that the only choice in what to wear was color. Everyone wore the same full body jumpers just in whatever color they chose that day. It was easy and made for a good level feeling.

For the next hour Siena puttered around with her tablet and ate some breakfast before she asked Ava for the time. Nine thirty was a good time to start toward the docking bay.

She walked slowly past the wall length windows to see that they were pointed right at the moon. The white, gray and black surface was so bright and lulled her into a long gaze.

The craters looked larger from the orbiter than they did looking up into the night sky as a child, but she knew that most of them were no more than a mile across. As she stared down she remembered the feel of the soft sand-like grains that filtered through her fingers the first time she touched moon sand. It all began then, this entire journey and the majority of her life spent in space.

“Siena… hello Siena,” the short, young blonde said as she jabbed Siena in the arm. “Are you lost on the moon again?”

The blonde laughed as Siena shook her head and turned toward her. They embraced before both continuing toward the docking bay.

“Are you excited, Marilyn?” Siena asked.

“I am nervous that time has changed what we had on the surface,” Marilyn said as she twisted her fingers together.

“It will be fine,” Siena reassured her.

‘Docking sequence has commenced for shuttle Selene,’ Ava stated.

Marilyn grabbed the rail along the window and peered out into space. Siena smiled seeing her friend so happy. She sighed wondering if she would ever meet someone that would make her act so out of character.

Siena stared out the window drawn in by the grace of the docking shuttle as it glided in to the bay. She could never understand how a shuttle could appear to effortlessly attach itself head on to the orbiter as it spun. It was nerve wracking for her to be aboard the shuttle when it docked, but watching was a different feeling. She loved to see the docking and watch as people entered the station.

‘Shuttle Selene has docked,’ Ava stated oblivious to the round of applause from the small group gathered at the bay window.

Now for her favorite part of the docking: seeing the new people and trying to decide what their reason was for being on the station. She smiled as the door slid open and the ‘game’ began.

The first to exit was a tall dark haired woman in her twenties wearing an Earth business suit. Siena guessed that she was there to audit some project. She was followed by several men dressed in the same jumper as her, returning from the surface she surmised. The next man was dressed in a military uniform and before Siena could guess his business on the station Marilyn jumped out of her skin and into his arms.

They spun around like they do in the movies when a soldier is returning from some long forgotten war. Marilyn, uncharacteristically, kissed him as he stopped twirling her and let her feet hit the floor. Siena watched, longing for that type of a relationship.

As Marilyn and Martin let each other, partially, loose they walked toward Siena. Before Siena could open her mouth Marilyn introduced her to Commander Martin Clare. Siena shook his hand and welcomed him to the station as she noticed that Marilyn’s description was spot on. Martin was not all that tall, blonde, fair skinned and had blue eyes.

“Martin,” a young man said as he touched Martin’s shoulder.

Siena turned toward the voice and was stunned. The young man was in his twenties, about six foot, thinnish, with light hair and beautiful blue eyes. The moment Siena felt she was staring the heat moved across her cheeks and her face was now scarlet. She quickly looked away.

“Oh, Mark, this is Marilyn and Siena,” Martin said as he gestured toward Marilyn and Siena.

“I’ve heard many things about you Marilyn,” Mark said as he took Marilyn’s hand.

“And Siena,” he said turning to her. “I know we share a love of the moon and all she has to offer,” he looked directly into her eyes and her blush grew two shades darker.

“Yes,” Siena breathlessly heard escape her lips. She hadn’t even thought about speaking.

Mark smiled and Siena looked away. One thought flashed through her mind: he must have spent too much time on the moon’s surface and picked up some unnatural power over me. She giggled softly at the absurdness.

“Would you like to get settled or have your tour of the station?” Marilyn asked Martin.

“I think I should find my quarters and you can help me get settled in,” he said as he kissed her cheek.

Marilyn winked at Siena and walked away with Martin leaving her alone with Mark. She turned to him and smiled feeling more herself.

She cleared her throat and said, “Marilyn tells me you are a selenologist?”

His smile grew and Siena steadied herself, “Yes I am. I was inspired by a lesson I watched in school. At first I was mesmerized by the instructor and then I was hooked on the content,” he said as he offered for her to follow Marilyn and Martin.

Siena started back down the corridor with Mark at her side. She was not sure where to go, but going was at least a plan.

“He must have been a good teacher,” she replied.

“She,” he emphasized, “was a good instructor and I have seen all the lessons she has given from both the moon and here in orbit.”

“I record some lessons, so it is nice to hear that someone is learning from them,” she said with pride.

“I would love to sit in on one of your lessons and see how they are done. If you don’t mind?” he asked.

Siena felt the blush start again and did her best to stop it cold, but the damage was done. She tried to think of a way to say no but all that came out was that she had scheduled time for one later that day.

“Wonderful. Until then my I impose once more and ask if you could show me where my quarters are?” he asked and she could sense a little unease in his voice.

“Sure, where do they have you?” Siena asked thankful that he was not perfect.

He showed her his papers and she directed him along the same corridor she had just walked down. As they walked she told him about different aspects of the station and he told her that he requested the orbiter so he would be on the cutting edge of study. Siena was impressed by his knowledge and drive. She wondered if he could push her to strive for more.

“Well this would be your quarters. You should be able to just lay your hand on the pad and it will unlock,” she said as he extended his hand toward the pad.

‘Welcome Doctor Marcus Oleson’ Ava responded as the door opened.

“Would you like to come in and continue our conversation?” he asked as he turned to Siena.

“Well, um, I think that I should let you get settled,” she said as he rung her hands behind her back. “If you feel up to watching me record my next lesson, please send me a message and I will come and show you were our studio is.”

“I will. Thank you for showing me my quarters and telling me about the station. I look forward to more conversations with you,” he said as he grasped her hand, lifted it to his lips and kissed the back of her hand.

Siena smiled before she turned and walked away. She fought with herself to not spin around to see if he was watching. She stole a glance as she turned the corner and he was gone. Her ego deflated a little, but that kiss to her hand was so romantic.

Autopilot drove her legs to her quarters and then to her comfy chair. She picked up her tablet and began to search for him. There was little information on the net, but what she did find out made him out to be too good to be true. After sending a quick message to Marilyn asking for advice she checked the time. With only about two hours til her time in the studio she hoped that Marilyn would respond.

‘Doctor Marilyn Arida is requesting entry,’ Ava stated.

“Allow,” Siena said as she set her tablet down.

“Hi Siena, we were in the area and I got your message,” Marilyn said as she and Martin entered. “Why are you checking up on him?”

Siena smiled as she cleared her table so they could all sit. Martin remained silent as Siena told them about what happened after they left. It was part of her nature to leave nothing out and she was true to that when she told them that she did find him attractive and interesting. Marilyn smiled for most of Siena’s story and nodded her head a few times and by the time Siena was finished she was ready to give her thoughts.

“Stop worrying and get to know him naturally,” Marilyn stated calmly.

Siena sighed wanting more than one statement, but before she could ask for more advice Ava interrupted telling them there was a message from Mark. He did want to see the recording and would be waiting for Siena’s arrival.

“Go and show him what you love to do. It seems that he wants to see what inspired him,” Marilyn said as she stood.

As they were leaving Marilyn spun around and gave Siena a smile and said, “Let yourself have fun or you will end up becoming a spinster.”

Siena laughed as the door closed. She had a few minutes to get ready, but this was the easy part. As she rolled her hair up into a bun and pinned it down she had nothing but time to think about Mark. By the time she was ready to leave she had taken the idea of ‘forgetting’ to go to his quarters for a ride, but dismissed that as being rude.

She sighed as she left her quarters and made for his. Her bottom lip was sore from all the biting as she walked the short distance. As she approached his doorway she took a deep breath and pushed the call button.

The door slid open and he was standing there waiting for her with his smile beaming. She felt her skin melting just seeing his smile. It took only a moment for her to shake her head stopping the melting feeling.

“I am so excited to see this that I have been pacing my quarters since I sent you that message,” he said sounding like a kid given a few dollars for the candy store.

“I hope it is not too big of a letdown to see that it is not as magical as you portray,” Siena stated as he joined her in the corridor.

She quickly placed her hands behind her back and began to walk down the corridor to avoid the earlier kiss that messed with her mine. Siena planned to keep her distance until she knew more about him.

“There’s not much about you on the net,” her blatant honesty said before she could stop herself. “Sorry I have a tendency to speak my mind before thinking,” she said quickly and watched for his reaction.

“No apology needed. There’s not much about you either,” he said calmly with no reaction. “I like that you speak your mind. It is refreshing to know. Is there something in particular you wanted to know about me?”

Siena thought about why she was looking for information about him and was not sure. As they turned the corner leading to the studio she was still silent.

“Well, it appears you were just looking for fun,” he said with a wink.

She smiled and nodded feeling another round of blushing cross her cheeks. She wondered if she could find out how he made her blush maybe she could stop it from happening.

“I guess I was just curious why someone so young would be interested in the moon when it seems that other planets are more popular,” Siena finally said.

“That is an easy one. I was inspired and then fell in love,” he said as he grasped her hand from behind her back and turned her toward him.

He stared into her eyes and leaned toward her. Just as she thought he was going to kiss her he stopped. Siena felt deflated and confused.

“I believe that inspiration and love are very powerful forces,” he said only inches away from her.

She sighed and felt like her legs were going to give out. As he released her hand and slowly pulled away from her she shook her head quickly and began toward the door at the end of the hall.

“The studio is just up ahead,” she said turning away from him still shaking her head.

As they entered the studio she told him that he would have to stay in the observation room, but he would be able to hear the entire lesson. She explained that the room was one of the zero-g equipped rooms. He asked if it was required for the lessons to be recorded in zero-g and Siena told him that it was unfortunately a requirement.

“This should take about thirty minutes. Are you sure you want to watch the whole recording?” she asked hoping that he would say no.

“Definitely, I hope to someday be able to record lessons so I see this as a learning experience,” he said enthusiastically as he looked around the room.

“It’s not as wonderful as you seem to think,” Siena said as she entered the large circular room. “I have a few things to set up and then I will turn off the gravity.”

Siena placed her notes in the holder in front of the camera and grabbed the remote. She placed her feet on the sticky pads and took a deep breath before she checked that the door was closed. As she pushed the gravity button she felt a twinge in her stomach and her body going softer. As she grabbed the rail she pulled her feet up and she was airborne.

When she looked toward the other room Mark was plastered to the window. She immediately felt like she was on display and her nerves kicked in.

Siena closed her eyes and took a deep breath and mustered all her professionalism. When she opened her eyes she pushed record and began her lesson making sure that she focused on the camera and not on Mark in the other room. By the time she was finished recording she had forgotten that Mark was in the other room and ended as she always did.

When she grasped the rail and initiated gravity she remembered that he was watching. She looked to the window and he was still up against the glass watching intently. A smile crossed her lips to see how much he enjoyed watching her.

As she made her way to the door she was still holding the remote. She was not fond of zero-g, but some people had never experienced the feeling and she was about to find out if Mark was one of people that had not.

“So, what did you think?” she asked.

“That was one of the best experiences I have had since I was finally allowed to suit up and step foot on the moon. Thank you, Siena,” his eyes sparkled as he spoke and she could feel his happiness dance around him.

“You’re welcome,” she said with a nod. “But I was wondering if you have been in a zero-g room?”

“Just when I was training to come to the moon and you are with so many others that you are afraid to really move,” he said a little deflated.

“Well, would you like to try it?” Siena asked with beaming smile.

Mark’s eyes went wide and he looked around the empty room, “Is it ok?” he whispered.

“I am the only one that uses this room. All the other instructors have zero-g in their labs. It would be difficult to make my lab zero-g when I am studying the effects of Earth’s gravity on the lunar surface,” Siena said to reassure him. “If you would like to play we can.”

He flashed that lovely smile of his and grabbed her in a tight hug, “I would love to,” he said in her ear. Mark kissed her cheek as he let her go and bounded into the other room.

Siena laughed and followed him. She showed him the sticky pad and told him to hold on before she asked him again if he was really sure. His resounding yes was enough for her to push the button and again feel the twinge in her stomach.

“Don’t let go and lift your feet,” she told him and watched as he pulled his feet up. “Now you can let go,” she said as she lifted her feet and drifted away from him.

“Ok,” he said as he let go of the rail and hovered.

Mark moved his arms like he was swimming and was moving quickly toward Siena. She timed it just right to move out of his way and grab his hand. She slowed his momentum with hers just before he touched the wall and pushed. As he pushed away from the wall be turned and crashed into Siena.

They both laughed as he said, “I’m sorry.”

“It is fine. I was worried you were going to hit the wall.”

“Thank you,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “I feel I should repay you for saving me.”

Mark ran the side of his hand down her cheek before he lifted her chin up. Siena knew what he was going to do, but her body over ruled her earlier decision to keep a distance. Before she could speak his lips caressed hers.

How she could go weak in the knees and be weightless was beyond her minds capabilities, but they felt weak. Her body betrayed her at ever chance it had as she clutched his waist and neck feeling his hair between her fingers. As he pulled her in tighter she felt his hand traveling up her back, along her neck and into her twisted up bun. He pulled her hair free. He laced his fingers in her hair and tightened his lock on her lips making Siena open her mouth slightly.

Siena felt like she had left her body and was watching the whole situation unfold below her. As his tongue grazed her bottom lip she granted him passage. It had been a long time since she was kissed, but she remembered how. She looped one leg around his letting him know that she was going to control some aspect, but in doing so she made a new discovery.

Pulling him in tighter caused their waists to touch and she was aware that he was more excited about this kiss than normal. Siena argued with herself to pull away, but her body would not relent in its determination.

As they kissed and Siena kept up her grasp of his leg with hers she fell deeper into the moment. She wanted him and she was going to let herself have him. While her mind was letting go she was not aware that his hand was falling from her waist to her butt until he grasped her cheek.

She let out a gasp and broke the kiss only to feel his soft lips along her neck. As she opened her eyes she was aware that they had drifted toward the wall, but at a slow speed. She felt the wall against her back as he pinned her.

Mark kissed up her neck and nibbled her ear, “Tell me you want this?”

Siena felt her heartbeat pounding in her ears almost muffling his question. The feel of his lips against her earlobe and his fingers in her hair had her in a drunken state since it had been so long. Her primitive mind took over and she watched the room move as she nodded her head and thought what a dumb question, of course I want this.

“Say it, tell me you want this. Tell me you want me,” he whispered again in her ear.

Her body shuddered from the moment his words hit her ear til they danced and shimmied down her body and out her toes. The room began to spin as all her walls fell and before she could muster a response he pushed them away from the wall. She watched as the room moved around them.

“Tell me what you want Siena, please,” he begged starting the shuddering all over again. “Tell me what you want.”

As Siena started to speak she was interrupted by Ava stating she had an urgent message from Marilyn. It was a heart stopping jolt back to reality for her.

“Ava play message,” she said still spinning and being held my Mark.

‘Message from Doctor Marilyn Arida received at sixteen-hundred forty three today:

Siena, where are you? I have been trying to find you for over an hour. You should have finished your lesson an hour ago. Martin and I would like you to join us for dinner, but now I am worried. Please respond.

End of message.’

Siena moved her leg unwrapping it from around Mark’s and let go of him. She was back to herself and in control of her actions.

“Ava reply to Marilyn:

‘I am fine. I will meet you at your quarters in one hour.’

End reply,” Siena said calmly.

“I am sorry; I should not have let this get so far. I am sorry,” she said as she floated back to the camera counter and grabbed the remote.

She told him she was reinstating gravity and that he should slowly move to the ground. As she started gravity she watched his expression lower as he slowly floated down. Her heart was breaking as she noticed how sad he became.

“Would you like to come to dinner?” she asked hoping that he was not too put off.

He sighed and looked at her, “If you will tell me why you are sorry this went so far, as you said?”

Siena blinked and looked confused. She was not expecting that response. It took her a moment to think about what he was asking and how to reply.

“I-I should not have been doing that with you here for one and at all for two. We just met and I know little about you,” she finally said.

Just as he started toward her she started to twist her hair back up. She knew that anyone that knew her would know something was not right if her hair was down when she exited the studio.

“I understand, but are you unhappy that we,” he emphasized ‘we,’ “went that far?” Mark asked as he pulled her into him.

She stopped twisting her hair and looked up at him, “No, that I am not unhappy with. I just should not have let that happen here.”

He kissed her softly and pulled her hair back down, “Good. Please leave it down,” and smiled.

Siena sighed and let her hair go as he pulled her head against his and kissed her passionately. She did not resist, but she did give him all the passion back. When he started to slow and pull away he left her breathless.

A smile passed over her lips and she shook her head. Mark looked at her puzzled.

“Why are you shaking your head?” he asked.

She took a deep breath and said, “I can’t understand why you want to be with me. I am much too old for you.”

Mark smiled and said, “You don’t act old and I don’t see you as old,” he kissed her softly, “and I think you must be aging slowly ‘cause you have not changed.”

He kissed her cheek and turned to walk away. Siena was mystified by the last part of his comment, but left it for a later time as she watched him walking out of the room.

They decided that they would stop by his quarters and then hers before going to Marilyn’s. Mark wanted to pick up something and refused to tell Siena what it was. Siena wanted to change out of her recording uniform and into another uniform.

When they reached Mark’s quarters he asked her inside. She expected it to be very bare, but it looked like he was busy earlier that day.

She could see the bed covered in his own bedding and the shelves filled with hardback books. How he had been able to pack that much in the small case he carried was a mystery that she decided to solve another day.

“Wow, you really settle in fast,” she said with surprise in her voice.

“I figure why waste time settling in slowly,” he said as he rummaged in his desk. “I have always moved in quickly for what I want,” he said with a grin.

“I see,” she said with her own grin.

“Ha, found it,” Mark exclaimed.

“And what is ‘it?’” Siena asked.

“You will just have to see later,” Mark replied as he placed it in a bag.

Mark grabbed her hand as he headed toward the door. Siena was not sure if she was ready to show that much affection in public, but he would not let go. She took a deep breath and followed his lead.

“So, where are your quarters?” Mark asked as they exited.

“They are just around the corner.”

Siena was nervous as they walked the hallway. She knew that the entire station would know soon since news like this traveled fast. It was something she had never had to deal with before and made it a point to remember to ask Marilyn how to handle this situation.

As they approached her quarters she became very nervous. She had never had a relationship like this here and was not sure what to expect. Her door seemed to open slower than normal and she began to fidget. The second the door was open she stepped in quickly.

“It’s not much, but it is me,” she stated. “Give me just a minute and I will change.”

Siena quickly grabbed another uniform and snuck into her bathroom. She changed in a flash and then looked in the mirror. Normally she didn’t care, but tonight she was aware of her face and hair. She did a quick brush and wiped her face down. It is not going to get any better she finally told herself and left the bathroom.

She stood in the doorway for a moment and watched as he looked over her photos before she quietly approached. No one had looked that intently at her photos and she was intrigued.

“Find something you like?” Siena playfully asked.

“Did you take all these pictures?” he asked as he picked up a photo of the Earth over the horizon of the moon.

“I did. I like to take pictures,” she said with pride.

“This picture is beautiful,” he said as he turned to her.

Siena smiled and blushed slightly as he looked down at her. He looked like he was sincere, but she did not know him well enough to be sure.

He leaned in and said, “You are very talented.” He kissed her lightly.

Mark set the photo back and pulled her in close as he kissed her again. This kiss meant business and held a tremendous amount of passion. Siena felt her legs turn to jelly and she forgot everything, there was something about his kiss that made her unravel.

“We better get going or we will be late for dinner,” he said as he broke the kiss and left Siena breathless and frozen in place.

“Y-yes, yes we should be going,” Siena said still in her mindless state.

Mark again grasped her hand and led her out the door as he asked where Marilyn’s quarters were located. Siena was able to give him directions and after a few minutes they were at her door.

“About time, where have you been?” Marilyn asked before she noticed that Mark was with Siena.

Marilyn’s jaw dropped when she noticed the hand holding, but just as quickly as she was shocked she smiled. She ushered her friend in and told them that dinner was ready.

The two couple chatted about several things over the next hour or so. Mark told them that he was excited to start studying more in zero-g and Siena instantly blushed. Marilyn noticed the blush, but before she could say anything Siena glared at her. Martin confessed that he was being permanently stationed there and Marilyn beamed with excitement.

“Siena would you mind helping me clear the table?” Marilyn asked.

“Sure,” Siena said as she stood.

“What have I missed?” Marilyn asked as soon as they were out of range.

Siena took a deep breath and told Marilyn about the recording session and the time in zero-g. Marilyn was surprised, but encouraged Siena to trust herself.

“He seems like a really nice guy, Siena. Don’t mess this up with your insecurities,” Marilyn told her.

“I’ll try,” Siena said with a sigh.

They spent another hour or so chatting about their lives, projects and several other topics. Mark did not talk about his younger years too much, but he did say that he had wanted to get to the moon since he was about ten. Siena was nervous that he was so secretive about his past.

As the topics waned Siena wondered what might happen after they left. She did not want the night to end, but it was getting late and she still did not know what she was going to do. Scenario after scenario passed through her mind and none of them had a resolution. It felt strange not to have a plan in place.

When Marilyn yawned Siena knew that it would be time to leave and she would have to decide. As they said their good-byes Siena was still deciding and then as she hugged Marilyn she received the best advice. Marilyn whispered that she should be herself and to not feel pressured.

Mark and Siena walked silently back toward their quarters and the corner where she would have to decide. As it approached Siena twisted her fingers and bit her lip. Luckily the hallway was deserted and she felt some a little less pressure.

“So,” Mark said as they neared the corner, “what are we to do now?”

Siena let out a long breath that she did not realize she was holding. She felt a bit more relief knowing that he was unsure too.

“I’m not sure. This is all relatively new to me,” Siena admitted.

“I would like to talk with you more, but if you have something early or you would like to talk later I will understand,” he stated.

Relief washed over her to have an out, but she did not want the night to end either. She did not have anything planned until the following morning and she was not going to lie to him.

“Why don’t we talk in my quarters?” Siena suggested so that she could ask him to leave if she wanted.

Mark offered for her to continue and walked with her to her quarters. He was at least a gentleman, a rare quality in a man his age.

She opened her door and he followed her inside. She cleared her table as he again looked over her photos. Several questions passed through her mind as she made a space to talk. She wanted to know about his childhood and this teacher that inspired him. It was how to start the subject.

“Are there rules for relationships here that I am not aware of?” Mark asked bringing Siena out of her head.

Siena shot him a confused look and shook her head, “Not that I’m aware of.”

“Oh, good, it just seemed that you were hesitant when I wanted to show you attention.”

Siena bit her bottom lip and said, “That’s just me. I’m not sure what to do. I really have not had a relationship in quite some time.”

She blushed slightly, but he smiled and walked over to her. He pulled her in close and kissed her forehead. Even knowing little about him she felt safe in his arms. Worry invaded her safe feeling when she felt him take a deep breath.

She looked up at him and he smiled down at her, “Can we sit and talk? I want to show you what I needed from my quarters.”

Siena’s heart dropped, she knew he was too good to be true. Wondering what he had to tell her was going to drive her nuts and in the short time to the cleared table several thoughts swirled around her, not a one good.

Mark took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he reached into the small bag and pulled out a memory drive. She looked at him completely lost and watched as he picked up her tablet. As he inserted the drive he sat down.

“I want to show you the lesson I watched as a kid that made me want to come to the moon,” he said nervously. “After you watch this if you want me to leave I will.”

Nerves came over her too as the recording began. He had not turned the screen, but within moments she knew why. It was her voice and it was one of her first lessons.

“You can stop that now,” Siena requested firmly.

Mark nodded and lowered his head, “Do you want me to leave?”

She pondered saying yes, but she could not think of why she would want him to leave when he was proof that she had reached at least one mind. As she looked to him she felt a twinge of pride and sorrow. He was hurt and it was her fault.

“Mark, I’m touched. I am happy to know that I inspired at least one young mind, but I’m not sure why you are telling me this now?” Siena asked calmly.

As Mark looked at her she could see the relief in his eyes, but he was still worried. He rapidly blinked at her before he finally spoke.

“I wanted you to know that I have had a love for you for more than half my life,” he let out a long breath as if a weight was off his shoulders, “and now that I am here with you I want to be honest with you. I have dreamed of meeting you for years, but to find you exactly the same as that first lesson I lost myself.”

The shock was beginning to wear off until he said she was exactly the same. She did not think she was the same, but maybe he was just seeing her that way. At that same moment she realized just how much older she was. She remembered that first lesson and it was almost fifteen years ago, so she was at least twenty plus years older.

“How old were you then?” she tried to ask calmly, but she sounded more nervous.

He looked her in the eyes and said, “I was twelve,” he paused, “We are twenty years apart in age.”

Siena sat there floored. She was twice his almost twice his age and he was professing love to her. Everything flashed and swirled around her from the moment they met: him saying that he had watched all her lessons, inspiring him, wanting to see her give a lesson, the kissing in zero-g and now him sitting across from her waiting to see if he would be crushed.

“I’m not sure what to say,” she finally mumbled.

“Just tell me that you are not so freaked that you want me to leave,” he pleaded.

Siena shook her head and told him that he could stay. He almost jumped out of his chair. She quickly told him that that was not an invitation for more of the zero-g activity from earlier, but she wanted to get to know him.

They talked for several hours before he left for the night with and invitation to come back in the morning and resume their conversation. As he left he again kissed her hand and thanked her for not kicking him out and giving him a chance.

That night Siena dreamt of what might have happened in the studio if they had not been interrupted and woke in a sweat. She did not know what to make of the dream and turned to Marilyn for help and one video chat later and Siena was given her orders: follow your heart.

Siena did just that and sent him a message to stop by anytime that day. Her plan was to set some ground rules, but what they would be she did not know.

Mark must have been waiting for her message because he was there in a matter of minutes. Siena ushered him in and asked him to sit. She was going to tell him before she lost her nerve.

“Mark, I was shocked that it was my lesson that inspired you and it is still disturbing to me that we are so different in age,” she began. “It may take me some time to process all this and become comfortable.” She took a deep breath and began again, “I think we need to take this very slowly.”

“I agree and if I over step please tell me,” Mark replied calmly.

The next few months Siena met Mark for lunches and dinners. He came to a few of her recordings, but there was no playing in the zero-g and as the days flew by Siena realized that she did love him.

The initial rules were modified several times, but the one that remained firm was her rule of no sex. Mark had tried several times when things got all steamy, but Siena would always stop him. She gave in one night and allowed him to unzip her jumper to her waist and see her bare breasts. He seemed to enjoy being able to indulge in some form of sexual play and Siena was not going to deny him that privilege after how it make her feel.

Not long after things became more intimate did he try for more access to her naked body. Mark asked her to play a game with him and she agreed. He blindfolded her and began to lower her zipper kissing as her skin was revealed. When he had her zipper to the approved location he sat her up and pulled her jumper down over her shoulders and around her waist. As he laid her back down he kissed her stomach and began to run his fingers under the material toward new ground. Siena reluctantly stopped him, but realized it was time to take the leap herself.

With the help of Marilyn, Siena arranged to have the studio for an entire evening. She invited Mark to watch her recording, but this would not be a normal lesson.

Siena started the lesson the same way she did that first one he watched her record, but just as he was realizing that it was the same lesson she stopped the recording. Now it was her turn to throw him off balance.

“Ava run program Mark,” she said.

Gravity slowly returned and the door opened. She called for him to join her. As he slowly stood and walked toward her Siena felt her heartbeat hasten and begin to race.

“Ava begin stage two.”

The lights dimmed and a soft classical melody began. Mark stopped and looked around perplexed, but curious. He closed the door and kept walking slowly toward her, each of his steps increasing her heartbeat until all she could hear was the sound of pounding in her ears and she almost forgot to give the next instruction.

“Ava begin stage three,” she said.

‘Message sent,’ Ava responded.

Mark cocked his head to the side and asked, “What message is Ava sending?”

Siena looked up at him as he held her close and just smiled. He did not need to know that Marilyn was now securing the studio so they would not be interrupted. When he failed to get a response Mark kissed her hard and Siena returned it back to him.

She finally broke free of his hold and said, “Ava begin stage three, my command.” Siena looked up at Mark and said, “Come, please.”

Mark followed her to the platform and placed his feet on the sticky pads as she did. They faced each other as Siena began the difficult part for her.

She began to slowly unzip his jumper to their previously agreed to location, just above the waist. He had been very good to keep to her request to take matters slow and never pushed to break his promise. It was now Siena that was going to shatter that promise. As she ran her fingers up his bare chest she began to gather her strength.

When Mark reached for her zipper she nodded and he began to open her jumper and stop at her waist. His hands followed the same path her did and she felt his energy passing into her body. The slight jolt was enough to push her on.

“Ava, now,” Siena stated and began to feel a twinge in her stomach that was a mix of the zero-g and nerves.

As the gravity left Siena pushed down with her feet and was free of her jumper. The jumper twisted and gyrated from her movement. When she looked to Mark he was staring at her jumper and then snapped his gaze to her as she stabilized herself above him. His eyes were wide and his jaw had fallen, she had managed the surprise him and her smile grew.

It took only moments for Mark to join her, without his jumper. He cupped her cheeks and looked into her eyes as he asked her if she was serious. She nodded and he asked simply ‘here’ and she nodded again. As he pulled her close and kissed her she wrapped her leg around his and gave them the most skin contact they had ever had.

She felt the warmth of his body against hers and then the hard object pushing slightly into her stomach. For a split second she was confused, but then memory took over and she knew what it was. Heat began to radiate from her stomach and travel up each vein and artery until it was flowing all along her skin.

Mark began to loosen her hair and she felt it tickling her overly sensitive skin making her squirm. His hands took full advantage of her lack of clothes and explored where they had been bared.

The zero-g was not posing any issues yet, but she knew this was new for them both. The back of her mind played over and over, this may not work. ‘So far it was going well,’ she thought as her back hit the wall.

As Mark held her to the wall he smiled and rolled her nipple between his finger and thumb. He had learned that she liked that some months ago and she definitely felt the emotions he wanted her to have.

Siena closed her eyes and concentrated on his fingers. He continued to play with her nipple, but the other fingers were busily entering new territory as they traveled below her waist and then between her legs. She opened her legs to allow them entrance and as they began to lightly caress her dampening folds she let out a quiet moan and a breath she was holding.

Mark began to use his soft lips to kiss her neck lightly, each one lower than the last until they were trailing down her neck, over her collar bone and in a line to her breast. He engulfed her nipple and used his tongue to circle and flick mirroring his other hand as his fingers began to play with her clit.

Siena tensed and felt tingles all over her skin. She reached for his head and mimicked his movements in his hair. They stayed like this for what seemed like hours of pure pleasure until she felt his head lowering and light kisses being placed down her body.

He wrapped his arm around her waist and pushed them from the wall. As they were free floating he spun them and guided them back to the platform where their jumpers were now standing motionless. He pulled the jumpers away and let them soar away never stopping his kisses.

“Grab the rail,” he told her.

Siena opened her eyes and grabbed the rail. She locked eyes with him as he floated down her body and planted his feet on the sticky pads as his hands moved down her sides, past her waist and over her hips. He pulled her legs apart and lowered his lips to her. As he began to kiss her clit Siena braced for what she knew was next. His fingers began to play along her slit as he sucked and nibbled on her clit.

Aware of the zero-g she fought not to move, but her body was winning the war. She began to squirm and tighten her hold on the rail and as he lowered his lips to her slit she felt she might lose hold. Siena held on tighter as his tongue entered her.

A long moan escaped her lips and was repeated over and over as his tongue dove into her and twisted and turned and moved in and out with tremendous skill. Her head fell back, her eyes closed and she knew only of his tongue.

When Mark stopped and quickly glided back up her body she was still in a mindless state until she felt his light kisses on her ear. He spoke, but she did not understand his words.

“Siena,” he said again, “let go of the rail.”

When she was aware he was speaking to her and she could understand she released the rail. He pulled her away from the platform and as they twirled through the air she felt a pressure between her legs as he pushed against her slit.

“Tell me you want me,” Mark whispered into her ear, “Tell me you want me.”

Siena nodded and felt him pushing against her inviting entrance. She wanted him, but had forgotten how to speak.

“Tell me you want me, Siena,” he again requested.

Siena opened her eyes and stared into his. She had wanted him from the day they met, but it was her hesitance that kept them from doing this long ago. It was her nerves, her emotions, her insecurities and now he wanted permission. He had asked the first time they were in zero-g and now he was asking again and she was not responding again.

Mark’s eyes softened and fear crept in on the edges. He was looking worried that she was going to back out, but as Siena leaned in and kissed him she had become of one mind.

When she pulled back from the kiss she smiled and said, “I want you more than I have wanted anything in my life. Please stop teasing me.”

As joy filled his eyes he pulled her in tighter and pushed into her. Siena let out a groan along with Mark and as he became fully encased inside her she instantly remembered everything.

They twisted like a slowly stopping top as they made love and released all the buildup they created over the last few months. All the time to create this setting and to get to this point was an eternity to what took them both only a matter of minutes. They each released all the tension and had little energy to float back down to the platform.

“Ava gravity,” Siena said as she felt her feet touch the sticky pads.

“I love you Siena, but let’s try this in a better location,” Mark said with a wink.

Siena smiled and nodded. They dressed quickly and went straight to his quarters since they were closer.

The minute they were behind a closed door Mark pinned her against the wall and pulled her zipper all the way down and slid the fabric of her jumper over her shoulders and down her body. He knelt before her and asked for the shower. He kissed up her body and as soon as his zipper was in range she followed his lead and pulled it down his body before kissing up to his chest. He lifted her chin and kissed her softly before pulling her to the shower.

As they managed to squeeze into the shower that was only built for one person they lathered each other and cleaned off their earlier escapade. Siena felt him harden as she lathered him and her eyes fluttered as she cleaned every inch of her slit. If there had been more room it would have been perfect, but as they felt the vapor begin to fade they removed much of the soap and waited for the steam to start.

They were still very damp as they exited the shower, but drying off was just as much fun as lathering each other. This time when he grew she let herself continue and as she heard him moan she knelt down.

She kissed the head and then licked up his shaft before she opened her mouth and devoured him as deeply as she could. Mark moaned and grabbed two handfuls of her hair as he guided her head. She relaxed and let him show her what he liked. As he moved her head she spun her tongue around him feeling every inch of him. When she could feel him tightening and the surges traveling up his shaft she pushed back on his hands and let him fall from her mouth.

As she stood and took his hand she turned. She pulled him to the bed and lay down before him. He stared down at her for a moment before he crawled atop her. Mark kissed her softly as he entered her without any guidance.

He pulled her right knee up to her chest making her hips roll toward him and pushed in deeply. Siena moaned and pushed him farther inside her. As he pulled back she shuddered and twisted her hips wanting him back deeper. Mark complied and slowly pushed in.

Several rounds of his teasing and Siena would have sworn under oath that she saw stars in the room, but they were just the preview of what was to come. Mark kissed down her neck and to her breast as he pulled back to just having his head inside her.

“Please, oh, please Mark,” Siena begged.

“Soon,” he said as he pulled all the way out of her.

He kissed down over her stomach and down over her mound. He began to run his tongue up and down her slit leaving her clit untouched. Siena squirmed and grasped at his hair trying to pull him back up until he pushed his tongue inside her as he pushed down on her clit. She almost lost it right there.

Mark pulled his tongue out and looked up at her and said, “Let go Siena, let go.”

Siena listened to him and let herself go as he reentered her and assaulted her clit. He brought her to the edge and pushed her over. She did see stars even with her eyes closed and her body tensed and released over and over as he kept licking her insides and squeezing her clit.

As she felt her body returning to normal Mark shifted, but her eyelids would not open. She could feel his body covering more of her and then she became aware of what he was doing.

The sudden intrusion arched her back and caused her to grab handfuls of sheet. She felt his hand on the small of her back holding her in the arch as he pushed inside her hard and fast. He kissed her between her breasts as she straightened her back. Mark pulled her up and into his lap driving farther into her.

Siena looked down at him as he cupped her butt and lifted her up. She leaned in to kiss him as he lowered her back down. She locked her lips with his as she used her legs to help him move her up and down his shaft.

They both started to breathe heavily either from the exertion or from the building of pressure, but as Siena felt the valve begin to give way she set all her weight down preventing him from lifting her.

She bit on his lower lip and began to twist her hips and roll them forward and back. Siena watched his expression change and his eyes flutter as he gave in. She took in a deep breath and let it out in short bursts as she felt him filling her.

They both let out long, shattered moans as her muscles clamped down on his shaft immobilizing them. Mark tried to push deeper into her, but only convulsed from the resistance. Siena mirrored his convulsions inside and out as her body massaged more and more out of him.

Within seconds they collapsed with her on top of him. Mark rolled her to the side and stayed inside her.

“I want to live my life in this position,” he said breathlessly.

Siena nodded and kissed him. She could live this way too, but did not have the breath to speak.

They fell asleep in that position: holding each other, waiting for the other, blended together as one.

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