Béla awoke to the sun in her eyes. It was blinding bright. She was out on her balcony and into the air before she was fully awake, suddenly realizing it was still freezing outside.
Nevertheless, she flew several summersaults in the brightly-lit sky before she returned to the warmth of the manor. 'Now they can get that damned carrier out of my back yard!' she thought, her body still excited from her short, freezing flight. The small transport had arrived powered by the last of the infrared rays emitted by the southern sun and what was left in the carrier's storage battery during the first week of darkness. The infrared rays weren't powerful enough here at the equator to enable it to return to Southern.
It had barely enough power to land without crashing. The pilot, a member of the old race, had spent the winter with the bard Geoffrey, teaching him about aerodynamics.
Now, he could return back to the familiarity of his ship and crewmates. 'And get some decent food and a low-gravity bed…' Béla heard someone cheerfully rant in her head. She looked down from her balcony and waved. The pilot was already leaving. 'Tell my father I miss him,' she sent lovingly into his thoughts. 'He should come and visit. Tell him how pleasant it is…' She knew the pilot hadn't been comfortable in the centrifical gravity here at the equator. Having spent her life on Earth, she was used to the constant pull.
But the crewmembers who preferred to stay aboard the great ship were used to gravity at a fraction of this. Her father's people were a space faring race, after all. Béla knew that as soon as the sun began to glow, the crewmembers of the great ship would resume the unloading that had been interrupted by the five-month-long night.
Soon, her Praetor would be here for the university. However many Praetors were in use at one time, they were all connected somewhere deep inside the central core of the great ship, where their collective data was stored.
What one Praetor knew, they all knew. The entire history of civilization; the entire stored scientific information in the galaxy would be available for study in the new university. Béla felt a wave of radiant joy flow through the room. 'Elaine's awake!' Béla realized happily. She turned and rushed back to the glass doors of her balcony, opening them to the freezing air and the noisy drone of the passenger carrier taking off. Stepping out, she found she was in time to watch Elaine's swan dive off her third floor balcony.
Forming her wings just before she hit the ground, Elaine made a sharp recovery and skimmed along only inches above the frozen surface.
She felt Elaine's sudden rage as she realized her mistake. She was too close to the ground to flap her wings or change her body angle to take her higher without scraping the ground and coming to a somersaulting, flesh grinding halt. Plus, she was quickly running out of flying space. She had to make up her mind; go face-first into the frozen snow or headfirst into the hedge wall.
She couldn't even bank to make a slight turn.
'I should do her a favor,' Béla thought, smiling wickedly at the idea that had just flashed into her head. She could pass on the favor her brother had done when she had been in similar straits. She closed her eyes and concentrated on her sister's location, then grabbed her sister with her mind and wrenched her out of normal space.
She smiled as she heard the thin scream of terror her sister was making; she had screamed exactly like that when her brother had teleported her that first time.
Focusing on a new location just below her sister's balcony, she pushed Elaine back out into normal space, still traveling in the same direction and speed.
"Eeeeeaagh!" Elaine finished her terrified scream as she realized what had happened. Furiously looking back toward the manor, Elaine spotted her target and banked sharply, aiming herself directly at her older sister. 'I'm going to remind you to warn me next time you do that!' she blasted furiously into Béla's mind. She glided toward the balcony Béla was on, fully intending to ram her sister clear across her bedroom and into the fireplace.
Béla created another image and cheerfully sent it to her sister. 'Okay, here's your warning…' Image of Elaine suddenly materializing thousands of feet high in the middle of the hurricane winds buffering and separating the calm inner core of New Eden from the surface traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. Elaine's wings being ruthlessly torn out of their sockets by the fierce winds as she plummets helplessly to the ground to make an unrecoverable smear against the inner surface.
Elaine abruptly changed her trajectory and slammed into the side of the manor, then dropped limply to the ground.
She appeared to be unconscious, but Béla could still hear her thoughts. 'There are those who simply refuse to be helped…' Béla sent to her sister, lying on the ground below. 'Are you still here?' Elaine thought back, in a total snit. 'I've changed my mind. I won't miss you after all!' She instantly radiated regret for sending that message, even though she was jesting at the time.
Béla's leaving her was still going to be painful. 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.' 'Where are you?' Béla sent.
Elaine's form was still not moving. She wasn't in her body. 'Right here next to you, Dummy,' Elaine radiated, making herself solid enough for Béla to see. 'I broke my frigging neck to keep from hitting you!
That thing down there thinks it's dead!' ' Well, I guess it's my turn to rescue you, this time,' Béla sent and hopped off the balcony. She didn't need her wings to drop twenty feet to the ground. But she didn't roll quite fast enough and managed to sprain her right ankle.
Ignoring it as much as she could, Béla hobbled over to Elaine's body lying twisted on the frozen snow. 'You're right, Darling,' Béla sent, 'it's not going to heal in that position…' She dream-walked into Elaine's body and, watching from the inside, was able to straighten her neck out so that it would heal properly.
Then she stomped on her heart with her mind to get it beating again. 'You've done that before?' Elaine suggested. 'You're awfully good at that.' Then she remembered.
She had actually tried to kill her older sister once. She didn't really remember why, or how Béla had stopped her. She remembered wanting to die, very badly.
'That was a long time ago,' Béla sent. 'We've both grown since then…' After a few minutes, Béla decided that Elaine's neck was healed enough for her to be moved inside, off the freezing ground. She expanded her awareness through the wall.
She was outside the main dining room. Jeff was there, having been awakened by his departing roommate, the carrier pilot. Béla gave Jeff the intention to walk over to the entrance into the rear courtyard and notice the two naked goddesses, Béla kneeling over her fallen sister and let them in.
Elaine woke up. She was on the dining table. "How did she get there?" Jeff was asking Béla. "Were you two fighting again?" "Am I breakfast or dinner?" Elaine asked groggily, sitting up and holding her sore neck.
"Would you believe I flew into the side of the house and fell?" Jeff stopped grilling Béla now that Elaine was awake. "Are you alright?" he anxiously asked Elaine. "No, I broke my neck," Elaine replied. "Béla fixed it." There; that should let her sister off the hook, this time. 'You owe me…' Elaine thought, loud enough for Béla to hear. "How in the world did you fly into the side of the house?" Jeff demanded, not believing that Elaine would deliberately do something that dumb.
"It's daylight. I'm a creature of the night. What did you expect? Lay off, will you? Elaine whined.
"Is there any food on the table besides me?" She looked around, taking in her surroundings and she discovered that no food had been served yet. She decided to wait and unsteadily slid off to sit down in a chair. Béla sat down naked beside her. "I'll go up and find something for you two to wear," Jeff announced, annoyed at them both and not really knowing why except that they were always naked, then trounced off toward the stairway.
Both sisters started giggling uncontrollably. Jeff, halfway up the stairs, felt himself blushing. He still had absolutely no idea why he felt the way he did. But, girls giggling always did that to him. By the time he found two sarongs in Béla's bedchamber and came back down, his breakfast of fresh fruit with toast and butter that had just been served was already mostly consumed by the two bratty, selfish, childish, greedy goddesses.
He fumed and threw their sarongs at them, not saying anything. Elaine rose out of her chair and slid the red one over her head, swaying her body from side to side to allow it to fall smoothly down her slender, sexy torso.
Jeff watched, annoyed with himself for being mesmerized by her alluring beauty. Standing on her toes, Elaine kissed Jeff softly on the lips. He could taste the melted butter from his toast as she kissed him.
"Bratty… selfish… childish… greedy…" Elaine breathed into his mouth, kissing him with each word, "and damned sexy…" She radiated lust and the feel of slippery butter on toast at him. 'Oh, no!' Jeff thought, panicking as he realized that the goddesses were going to seduce him again.
He felt a pair of hard nipples press into the back of his shirt and realized that Béla was behind him, making sure he didn't escape Elaine's frontal attack. The cook came in, carrying an order that duplicated the breakfast he had just missed. The two sisters burst into laughter at his discomfort and pushed him down into a chair.
"Eat your breakfast," Elaine told him. "We're going flying." Dropping their sarongs on the floor behind them, they were out the door and into the air. Jeff had to get up and close the door behind them to keep the frigid air outside. 'God, I love those two,' he thought to himself, chuckling at their antics. 'We love you too,' he heard them both in his mind. Then they were gone, leaving him to think his own thoughts in peace and privacy for a change.