Disclaimer:The Angel Within is a copyrighted work by Kracken. For more
information, please got to http://bonpublishing.com
The Angel Within;
The Why and the Wherefores
Sunnie sat, cross legged, on a couch, in a comfortable pair of drawstring,
cotton pants and a loose t-shirt. He absently popped sweetened balls of
tanimi grain into his mouth, one after another, as he watched a movie. It
was an instructional video for a class he and his friends were required
to take. His friends had quickly judged it, 'To boring for words.' and had
rolled their eyes when Sunnie had differed with that opinion. When his friends
had retreated to find something more interesting to do, Sunnie had stayed
to watch the movie, dutifully taking notes on a pad of paper balanced on
Ramon Frews leaned over the back of the couch and snagged the bowl of tanimi
balls from Sunnie and glared at him. "Sunnie! Give it a rest. We have
all night to watch that."
Sunnie blinked wide, amber eyes at his friend and then shook his head with
a sigh. His golden curls danced at the motion. "It's almost over. I'm
going to watch it until the end."
Frews snorted, "Then we'll all take notes from you." Taking the
bowl with him, he retreated back to where their other friends were sitting
around the small kitchen table and talking.
Sunnie wanted to join them, but he had been taught to never indulge in
pleasure before completing his work. So, scribbling down more notes, he
tried to concentrate on the fine points of Ion drive mechanics and it's
Laughter erupted, nervous and embarrassed sounding. There was whispering;
an effort not to disturb Sunnie who was only a few feet away. He looked
over at his friends and saw them huddled closely together over the table
top, empty drink bottles and packages of snacks strewn everywhere around
them. A game was set up only half played, the conversation they were having
apparently much more interesting..
The movie ended. Sunnie flipped his notepad closed, turned off the vid
screen, and stretched.
"Finally!" Frews exclaimed, "Now get over here, Sun, and
have some fun!"
Sunnie stood up and said worriedly to his dark haired friend,. "How
will any of you pass your courses if you don't study?"
Grevas Anjou snorted. "I ask myself the same question about Frews,
but he seems to do well despite his lack enthusiasm for his studies. As
for the rest of us, " he smiled fondly at Sunnie, "we do our work,
but this is the weekend. I'm sure you didn't invite us all here to watch
a vid clip for a paper that isn't due until Tuesday."
The heavyset, blonde Anjou was a solid, steady presence: a sharp contrast
to the lean, hyperactive, and undisciplined Frews. Sunnie had rarely ever
known him to give him bad advice.
Sunnie looked down at his feet and replied uncomfortably, "I'm sorry."
"Stop it!" Hural Kevassa exclaimed and smacked Anjou's arm. "Don't
make him feel guilty for doing his homework."
Frews threw up his hands in exasperation. "The doctor is away and
we get the apartment all to ourselves, without any parents or guardians.
Let's not pass up this golden opportunity by sitting here and arguing."
Anjou looked around them. "Well, we ate, we played a game, we talked,
we watched some Ion mechanics... seems like a well rounded evening so far."
"You are mocking us," Frews growled in irritation, but then snorted
and added, "But for good reason. We have to come up with something
to do that's better than this!"
Anjou twiddled his thumbs and said, almost under his breath, "We could
invite some girls over."
Sunnie felt a tightening in his gut. His expression must have done an interesting
dance between emotions. They were looking at him in concern. "You look
kind of white," Frews commented . "Are you okay, Sun?"
Kevassa slapped Anjou on the arm again. "You can be so ignorant! Sun
isn't about to let females in here! For one thing, women and men on Geranto
don't do anything casual together, for another, I'm sure Sun isn't the least
"Well, he's not on Geranto any longer," Frews pointed out. "When
off planet, follow the customs of your host world. As for not being interested,
well, you don't have to do anything with them Sun, we're just inviting them
over to... well... talk."
Anjou snickered. When Sunnie looked at him in confusion, Anjou explained,
"Sometimes, it's good just to smell their perfume and look at them,
Sun. We promise, nothing else is going to go on."
"Yeah, we promise, so..." Frews snatched up the vid phone. "I'll
make the calls," he offered. "Trina and Kaylee?"
"Oh, man! Yes!" Anjou replied excitedly. Kevassa nodded his agreement
enthusiastically. Frews made an okay sign with his fingers and turned to
the vid screen.
Anjou motioned to the now empty chair. "Sit down, Sun. Stop looking
like you swallowed a dozen bente sticks."
Sunnie sat down gingerly. Kevassa gave him a thoughtful look and then urged
Sunnie blinked in surprise. His hands fiddled with a table decoration,
a small glass globe with a single yellow rose seated inside it. Behind him,
he could hear the excited voice of a girl and Frews talking to her. "I'm
just not... very... comfortable with having... girls here."
"Then we shouldn't invite them?" Kevassa pressed. "It's
your home. We'll do whatever you want us to."
Sunnie could see them tense, ready for disappointment. Suddenly, he didn't
want that disappointment to be because of him, because of the way that he
had been raised. "As long as everyone just... talks," Sunnie began,
and Frews made a sound of delight and finished inviting the girls over.
After he had completed the call, he turned and clapped Sunnie on the shoulder
with a grin. "All set! They'll be over as soon as they get ready."
Anjou groaned and rolled his eyes. "That means we may not see them
for awhile, Sun. " He rose, went to the refrigerator to get a drink,
and then sat back down again. He motioned the bottle at Sunnie as he explained,
"Something you should know about women, well some women, Sunnie. They're
always worrying about how they look and what you think about how they look.
The first thing out of their mouths, after 'hi', is, 'Do I look okay?'.
You'd better have a good answer for them too. I tend to stick with, 'Beautiful
as always.' , Otherwise they read inbetween the lines and take what you
say the wrong way. Saying, 'You look nice.', will mean to them, 'You didn't
look nice before.', Or, 'You aren't beautiful, just so so."
Sunnie thought about that as his friend took a long gulp of fruit drink.
"I did have sisters," he replied at last, "They didn't seem
anything like that."
Frews chuckled in delight. "He has questions for you, Anjou. I can
see it in his eyes."
Kevassa looked almost embarrassed as he admitted, "Maybe I've got
some too." They looked at him and he suddenly found a bowl of chips
very interesting. "Well, you can't tell me that you haven't wanted
to ask Sun some things..."
Frews raised an eyebrow. "Like...?"
Kevassa poked at the chips with one finger and replied, "Well... like...
Anjou snapped, "Well, what!?"
Kevassa said in a rush, "Why's Sunnie like guys instead of girls?"
Frews snorted. "You did go to sex education didn't you? Genetics?
Health lab? Any of those classes ring a bell?"
Kevassa scowled and shoved the bowl of chips away from him. He sat back
and crossed his arms tightly over his chest. "I meant, what's Sunnie
see in someone like Dr. Jhai? What doesn't he see in girls? What's it...
well... what's it like?"
Sunnie was blushing so hotly that he felt on fire. He almost fell back
on an old reflex. He wanted so badly to hide behind the comforting cover
of his hands.
Kevassa was unrelenting. "Come on, Sun! You've been wanting to ask
us about girls, right? Maybe we can exchange some information?"
Anjou sighed. "I can't believe you're suggesting this."
Kevassa snarled back, "Look! I have better grades in school because
I ASK questions, Anjou. I can flip through lots of textbooks on it, but
nothing's better than actually having someone to personally talk to. I'm
curious, so shoot me. I want to know!"
"I don't think that I can talk about it,' Sunnie said at last. "Please..."
Frews squeezed his shoulder. "Now you've upset him, too. I swear Kevassa,
you just don't think!"
Kevassa grumbled. "I do think, that's why I asked." He relented.
"I'm sorry Sun. I didn't mean to upset you."
Sunnie took a deep breath to steady himself and then he straightened. "I...
It isn't easy to talk about. I was raised to think that it was wrong, very
"That must make it hard," Anjou said, "Being with Dr. Jhai
Sunnie thought about that and then shook his head. "No, not hard.
When we're together, I don't think about it. When we're together, it's beautiful...
"Yes?" Frews prompted, curious now.
"I feel as if God meant for us to be together," Sunnie finished
and then he did raise a hand to his face and hide behind it, huddling in
on himself as if he had dared too much in that admission.
"I felt that way with Tamatha Riley," Anjou ventured after a
long moment, his voice soft and thoughtful, "When I held her hand I
could swear I heard music... like angels... like someone singing, 'she's
That brought Sunnie out of hiding at least half way. "You did? Then...
why aren't you with her now?"
Anjou looked sad and he sighed before replying, "She 's interning
on Tarihydrus. When she's done, she said that she would come back."
Sunnie frowned. "Why... why are you always looking for other girls
Anjou blushed. "Well, I like them, Sun. I like being around them,
even if I don't intend on getting serious."
"As friends?" Sunnie asked.
Anjou looked even more uncomfortable. "Four years is a long time to
wait for even true love, Sun. Kind of like a friend, but, sometimes, a bit
more than that."
"Oh," Sunnie looked confused.
Frews snorted, "He can't wait, Sun, for his princess to come home
to him. That's not a very upstanding role model to follow. I mean, you wouldn't
go and bed someone else because Dr. Jhai decided to go away for a few months,
"We're legal companions," Sunnie told him with wide eyes. "I
made vows with him before God. It would be wrong-"
"Exactly," Frews agreed with satisfaction. "It would be
Anjou scowled. "You're not a virgin, Frews," he snapped. "Don't
preach what you don't practice."
Frews grinned and shrugged, "But I don't have anyone serious,"
"I can see it mattering with a girl," Kevassa suddenly interjected,
"But with a guy? Guys are guys, you know. We have needs."
Sunnie looked at him with wide eyes and Anjou and Frews glared.
"Don't be stupid," Frews retorted. "We're not animals, you
"Technically-" Anjou began, but Frews cut him off.
"You're making excuses." Frews waved at Anjou dismissively. "Sun
has it right. You should learn from HIS example."
"I'm trying to, but he has to talk to me for me to do that,"
Kevassa pointed out. "That's why I wanted to talk to him to begin with.
I want to know -"
"You want dirty details," Frews cut him off derisively.
Sunnie blushed hotly again. Talking about his strong feelings for Jhai
was one thing, but he simply couldn't bring himself to talk about their
sexual relationship. Frews saw his return of embarrassment and gave him
"It's okay, Sun," Frews assured him. "Don't talk about anything
you don't want to."
Anjou looked impatient as he reached for the chips. "If we're going
to talk about 'feelings' we should wait for the girls to show up. They like
that sort of thing."
"Girls... make me... nervous," Sunnie blurted and then ducked
his head, mortified at himself. "Rhani says that I should be around
them more, to get used to them, but..." Sunnie recalled his brother
hitting him with a switch whenever he had been suspected of having impure
thoughts about them. He had been taught that they moved in a different world
than he did and that girls and boys should stay separate until appointed
"Nervous?" Anjou grunted. "Terrified is more like it. You
always find something else to do when they're with us. I don't believe that
you really want them coming to your home."
Frews looked alarmed. "Sun, I told you, whatever you want us to do...
this is your home. I can still call the girls and tell them to forget it.
You don't have to do anything to make us happy. We like you, Sun, we wouldn't
be your friends if we didn't care about what you want ,and what you don't
want, and respect that."
Kevassa latched onto that guiltily and said, "Sun, it would be like
you inviting a bunch of guys over to make out when that's not really what
we would be comfortable with, I guess. Maybe you should call them, Frews."
Sunnie bit his lip. Frews nodded and turned to make the call. When he returned,
he said, "Hey, we're having a good time all by ourselves. We don't
need girls mucking things up."
Anjou looked like he would have liked to argue about that, but he only
Kevassa moved closer to Sunnie and asked, "So, you feel really strongly
for Dr. Jhai and you would rather avoid girls. Are you sure it isn't your
upbringing that's deciding your preferences?"
Sunnie raised golden eyebrows. "I... I had a chance to marry, but,
I couldn't. I didn't feel for women the same way that I feel towards men."
"What do you feel?" Kevassa pressed.
Sunnie stared into his friends eyes, mouth gone dry. "Need,"
he said shortly and then half turned away. "Rohan taught me what my
body wanted. Rhani Jhai taught me what my heart wanted. Both things had
nothing to do with women."
"Oh," Kevassa smiled warmly. "You're in love."
Anjou looked trouble at the mention of Rohan's infamous name. "Sun,"
he apologized, "If this idiot just reminded you of things you'd rather
forget, I'll personally eject him from your home."
Kevassa looked startled and then contrite. "I'm sorry, Sun! I didn't
"The truth is what God makes it," Sunnie intoned almost automatically
and then shook himself and smiled sadly, "Which means, 'what's done
is done', and can't be helped."
"I did some research on Geranto, your home world," Kevassa said,
"I don't know how you survived."
"I didn't know that I was different like that," Sunnie explained.
"The man taking care of me did, I'm sure of it. I'm also sure that,
if Rohan hadn't taken me away from Geranto, that man would have killed me.
Rohan hurt me terribly, but I do owe him my life."
They all looked thoughtful at that, at how life could twist and turn between
dark and light, and then Frews asked, almost tentatively, "If you could
be like us, would you? I mean, if you were, you could have avoided so much
Sunnie looked stunned at that idea. He raked hands through his golden curls,
looking like an anguished angel. "Life was hard. I miss my family.
I miss the life I left behind. I was a good farmer...." he trailed
off, eyes going distant, weighing how his life might have been and how it
was now. Finally, he said, "Being with Rhani is worth all of that and
more. We wouldn't be together if I hadn't been different, if God hadn't
chosen to give me a life unlike the life of my people."
Frews blushed , but he nodded too. "We all are the sum of our experiences."
"If you try and pretend that you came up with that-" Kevassa
Frews lifted up his hands defensively and laughed. "I'm not, but it
Anjou nodded solemnly. "Yes, it does."
They had a quiet evening after that, played a few games, watched another
movie, and then Sunnie was alone again with his empty home and a desire
to see Rhani Jhai that was so strong it was painful. He tried to keep himself
busy, tried to pass the time by cleaning, by doing school work that was
ahead of schedule, and, finally, by napping on the couch. When a touch roused
him, he started up, confused and wiping sleep from his amber eyes.
"Love?" Jhai smiled as he crouched by the couch. "Are you
Sunny grinned and took Jhai's long, lithe, mahogany body in his tight embrace.
Jhai's crumpled doctor's uniform smelled of antiseptic and the hospital,
but Sunnie didn't care. He hooked a hand behind Jhai's neck and brought
his lover further down for a devouring kiss.
Jhai broke it and smiled back warmly in surprise. "Maybe I should
do more symposiums if you're going to be this excited when I return?"
Sunnie shook his head. "No!" and then, embarrassed and ducking
his head, he explained, "My friends were here last night and we talked...
I guess they made me think of all that's happened to me and how much I care
Jhai sat on the couch and Sunnie all but climbed into his lap, nuzzling
against Jhai's neck and the circular tattoo there. Sunnie breathed in and
treasured Jhai's unique scent, the one that spoke to Sunnie of a place that
was wild and windblown; a place under a sun that made skin glow mahogany.
"I want you to know," Sunnie said as he looked up into Jhai's
dark eyes. "That it was all worth it, every bit of it, to be with you."
Jhai almost vibrated with surprise and a responding love. His long arms
went about Sunnie and drew him close. "That means everything to me,"
he whispered against Sunnie's golden curls. "I had always feared that
you resented circumstances, resented what you were, and maybe resented me
for being with you against everything you were taught."
"Never," Sunnie replied and then he was taking control, slipping
out of Jhai's embrace to take Jhai into his arms. His expression was possessive
suddenly, loving and wanting. His fingers undid Jhai's buttons and then
pushed the smock off of Jhai's shoulders. His lips and tongue kissed and
licked flesh and Jhai was falling back on the couch, pulling Sunnie with
him so that Sunnie was on top. He opened his legs and took Sunnie between
them, his smaller lover fitting his body to Jhai's curves as he continued
to torment the dark nipples of Jhai's chest.
"I missed you!" Sunnie's voice shivered with emotion and desire
as he took his lover, peeling off all of Jhai's clothes and possessing him
utterly in a hot, heaving tumble on the wide couch. Being within Jhai, feeling
his tight warmth, hearing and seeing his lover's head thrown back in ecstasy,
and his body writhing under him, Sunnie felt the long ago dream of farm
fields and family slip away completely and leave him in peace. No more doubts,
he thought as he brought Jhai to completion. No more ghosts of what might
have beens. Sunnie was where he belonged, with Jhai, and he didn't want
it any other way.
Read more of Kracken's fiction and fanfiction at http://kracken.bonpublishing.com
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Fiction : GW