“Hello sailor, I think I want to talk to you.” Elder looked at the speaker. The sultry voice matched the beautiful body (she was tall enough so that if he walked into her he would bounce off her well-padded chest, her hairline was shaved back to show a fashionably high forehead and her hair was dyed a silvery hue that had been Imperial court fashion a couple of years ago) that stood next to him. Elder felt certain urges rise in him and he began thinking of Constance in panic. Even if she would never know about the primitive demands this woman brought out in him, Elder was determined to not hurt her. He did not know why Constance loved him, but he was not going to throw that love away.
“Me? Why would you wish to talk with me?” Elder could not return his attention to the data terminal without being very rude to this woman in a high-quality business suit, but he was sure he should do just that.
“You are Jesip Dwight Roger Allen Elder, Graduated Cadet in the Imperial Navy aren’t you? That is who I need to talk with.” The woman had the advantage of beauty and fashion; she was using those, and her voice to devastating effects on Elder. He clung to his memory of Constance and barely avoided being swept into this woman’s power. Some small part of his mind realized that she was using some sort of chemical enhancer as a perfume.
Squeaking like a boy just entering puberty, Elder said, “You have the advantage of me Ma’am.” More words he did not dare say just then.
When she put no effort into her smile, it was enough to turn a man into melted butter, putting an effort into it made the smile enough to melt steel. Elder stood there, not daring to move a muscle, dazzled by the improved version of her smile. “Aren’t you a sweet young man. Now, we can do this the fun way or I could flash a badge and haul you off officially. Why not keep this unofficial and fun? You are Elder, aren’t you?” There was a hint of a dagger in that last question.
Somehow, that brought Elder to his rational self. “Yes, I’m Graduated Cadet Elder. Why do you need to know?”
Her voice full of fur now, she said, “Come with me. You have an appointment with someone important.”
Walking as if she had no bones in her body, the woman went to a limo and opened the back door. Swinging her arm to motion Elder inside, she waited. Quickly deciding not to run, Elder hoped his thoughts of Constance would fortify him enough to resist the woman and whatever she was trying to do. Hell, he knew what she was advertising she wanted to do, no heterosexual male over the age of twelve would miss that, but he was sure there was something else she was after. However, Elder realized that his body was already acting, doing what she wanted. He sat down in the limo before he realized he had started walking. She followed and settled herself into the seat opposite him. The car began moving off.
While she made herself comfortable, and Elder got evidence that she was wearing absolutely no underwear at all while she did so, she said, “Now then, we have quite some time before your appointment, what shall we do to pass the time?’
Elder’s mind raced. Actually, it raced on two levels. The first was pure instinct and was ready to try anything the woman wanted. The second was his rational mind, which kept putting roadblocks in front of the first race. Level two won, but by a very close margin. Constance was the deciding factor, he could not lose her.
Elder began looking around the limo. It was roomy enough to hold a party, and probably had on several occasions. There was a bar along the edge next to Elder, he presumed it was liquor, and the floor was carpeted in a plush pile that Elder reached down and felt. It was the most luxurious carpet he had ever felt, higher quality than that in the local Count’s office back on Krasgia. The time he took to do this investigation allowed Elder to finish regaining control of his mind and body. It was a battle he thought he should lose, at least part of him thought so.
“Are you married? Perhaps you would like to see some pictures of my wife, Constance? She is setting up in Married Quarters back at the base now, although the BALKANS has been gone long enough that she may be done. She has always had great taste in decorating. She should start her own business, she’d make a fortune.”
The woman leaned back in her seat and smiled a faint smile. Staring at Elder for a few moments, she said nothing. Elder began to worry that his resolve would melt away.
Then, in a more serious voice, “How long have you been married Graduated Cadet Elder?”
“Right out of the Academy Ma’am. Constance came with her family and mine to my graduation and we were married right after. Catching ships to the base where the BALKANS was stationed was a bit of a problem but we made it just in time. I was almost late reporting in, but I made it. Unfortunately, that left no time for me to settle in at the base.” Elder realized he was beginning to babble and shut up.
“So, you are newly married. Are you happy with your Constance?”
“We were childhood sweethearts. I’m always happy around her.”
“I see. Well, that throws a few kinks in my plans. You see, we were supposed to occupy the time before your appointment with me loosening you up and getting a great deal of information from you. Nothing secret mind you, just personal information so that my supervisor would have a better idea about you. However, I am not going to break up a happy marriage especially since you are working so hard to avoid that. Mind you, Graduated Cadet, I could break through your resistance but this project is not worth it. It would be fun though.”
Elder felt the panic sweat break out on his forehead. After two tries where nothing came out, he realized he had nothing to say and closed his mouth.
“Oh, aren’t you sweet. I had forgotten that people like you really exist. Let me buy you a cup of coffee.” Reaching around to an intercom, she said, “Cancel the aimless driving. Head straight in. ” Then, completely without shame, she changed her clothes into a more discreet business suit, complete with underwear. Elder slammed his eyes shut and kept his head turned once he realized what she was doing. He heard her giggle as he did so.
“You can look now. I’m safe, at least as far as my clothes are concerned Graduated Cadet.”
Elder knew his face was even uglier than usual due to his fierce blush. Between the two parts of his anatomy full of blood, he was amazed his brain worked. However, by keeping his eyes fixed on her eyes he believed he could hold his resolve.
“Do you like this outfit Graduated Cadet? I understand it was Imperial Court fashion last year. Here in the outer kingdoms, we are behind the times but I do try to keep up.”
Elder had no choice but to examine the suit. Therefore, he took a brief look, then another, longer, look. It was a well-fitted suit trimmed in various metallic threads and showing none of the implications of the previous suit. He could admire her clothes without any danger to his resolve. He had seen nothing as well designed for business and fashion before. He almost forgot that she was a beautiful woman trying to get information from him. Almost.
During the ride to wherever their destination was, Elder and the woman, she never gave her name, carried on a conversation about their jobs and their lives. Elder later wondered if anything she told him was true, but at the time, he had no doubts, he just enjoyed the conversation.