(Note – This is Chapter 3 of the story. See chapter 1. Note 2 – the viewpoints of Jesk are purposefully disturbing.)
The stars were bright and crystal clear. The majestic form of the Milky Way stood out forming the perfect backdrop for the towering peaks of the high mountains. The air was filled with summer nighttime sounds of the song of crickets. A loon call, lonely, like a spirit calling from a different world, echoed across the landscape. A cool, fragrant breeze blew in off of the mountains.
Jesk thought about getting under the warm covers, but he actually enjoyed the goosebumps that rose up on his body. It was a feeling that pushed beyond his bland comfort zone where he spent 99.9% of his life, and yet it was safe and familiar. He felt alive. He reached over and patted the bed beside him.
For a moment he wished Thara was there lying next to him in the bed, not for sex, but for shared warmth and companionship.
He quickly grew angry, first at himself, but since he could never be angry at himself for long, at Thara. What was she thinking, telling him what she was going to do and telling him, actually telling him, what he should do as well?
The goosebumps went away and he began to sweat in his angry heat.
The wind picked up, a little cooler, blowing in the scent of high alpine meadows. A shooting star streaked across the sky. The loon called again, this time answered by another loon.
The sound relaxed him and drew off some of his anger, cooling down his temper.
A part of his brain understood that the simulation read his body temperature, pulse rate, breathing and other vital signs to program the sequence of events to try to keep him as relaxed as possible and eventually to send him to sleep.
But his conscious mind didn’t think of it. He only thought of the two lonely calls answering each other.
He did occasionally miss having Thara sleep with him. They only shared a bed for the first two years of their marriage. He didn’t remember whose idea it was for her to move into her own suite, but he knew that he wasn’t against it and slept better when alone.
Was it really eight years since Thara had shared his bed? That is, shared it for sleep?
Yes, they still met in a third room for sex on occasion, one away from the nursery, which was in Thara’s suite, but those occasions were growing less and less frequent. His lust for Thara had dwindled over the years, particularly after she became pregnant with Adi during their fourth year of marriage. Later, his lust in general dwindled. His last doctor had said it was all of the medications he was using, particularly the blood pressure medicine, which he had been on since he was 33. His new doctor told him that he was in great health, that those medicines were normal for a man about to turn 60. Not that he was like a 60-year-old. No way, he was more like 40! And 285 lbs? Not a problem, it just proved he was one of the masters of the world, no health concern at all. But he still needed to take all of the medication. He really didn’t miss the drive much, and he could always use ED medicine when he needed to assert his authority.
Feeling the chill, he unconsciously slipped under the covers.
Sex was something that he only used for power and over the last few years had nothing at all to do with drive or even pleasure, for that matter. He had a string of affairs to prove to the world that he was virile, though he vehemently denied them all. He sometimes conquered a beautiful employee just to prove he could. Sex was control, the ultimate control. He owned the woman he used for his pleasure. After he owned her, it was no longer fun. He had owned and controlled Thara for a long time.
Jesk closed his eyes and started to drift.
But then his eyes sprang open with a thought.
Was that right? Did he really own or control Thara?
This is the third chapter of the story “When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House” based on the image by Marianne Sopala that was off of Pixabay. The larger story is in response to D. Wallace Peach’s February Speculative Fiction Prompt.