The Dead Zone chapter 02 by phenylalanine

Rating: 91%, Read 6496 times, Posted Oct 16, 2019

Science-Fiction | At work, Female, Male, Masturbation, Reluctance

The next few days went slowly. The new course didn’t really offer any new excitement. Cait monitored the passive sensor sweeps for anything of interest and occasionally boosted to active long range sweeps, but there was nothing out there. Interactions with Rhys had become stilted and he seemed to be avoiding her, though he was perfectly amicable when she needed to speak with him about something related to work. Nonetheless Cait was starting to have difficulty sleeping and she wasn’t sure if she was having her own issues or because she knew things weren’t sitting completely right with Rhys. The previous night when they’d gotten together for dinner he had barely said a word apparently not wanting to look at her, and wondered if he was deliberately trying to give her the silent treatment. It turned out to be more respectful than that – her single, a tight white ribbed material that had thinned with age had become slightly transparent and clingy with sweat after her exercise session. Not so much as to make anything under it actually visible, but enough to fuel imagination. She felt a pang of guilt and sympathy and had thrown the singlet into the disposal unit to be incinerated so she didn’t accidentally wear it again. Not that it wasn’t nice to have someone feeling interest in her, even if she was literally the only woman within two hundred million klicks, but she didn’t need Rhys dwelling on it.

Presently, she was drinking a coffee and reading a book on her tablet, which she had managed to stabilise so it floated in front of her and autoscrolled the text at a comfortable reading pace so long as the front-facing camera detected that her eyes were tracking the words. Rhys had joined her on the bridge and sprawled into the unused Captain’s chair, though not bothered to strap himself in so his relentless fidgeting made him kept drifting out of it. Eventually his constantly shifting shape in the periphery of her vision distracted her from her book and she finally turned her chair to face him, her book pausing as soon as she turned away from it.

“Not that your company isn’t a delight, but is there anything else you could be doing right now?” She asked, trying not to sound like a total bitch.

“Sorry.” Rhys sighed. “I thought I would feel less bored if I was hanging out with someone.”

“How’s the maintenance?” Cait asked, hoping a work question would at least give them something to talk about for a few minutes, most other avenues of conversation kind of exhausted without delving too deeply into personal territory.

“Done, done and triple done. Predictive algorithms suggest nothing will even need looking at for about three days, let alone actual work, barring any accidents. This Chariot hasn’t been in better condition since the day she left drydock.” Rhys said airily.

“And autopilot is, as always, autopiloting.” Cait replied with the same resigned tone. “Shame they never figured out safe stasis, huh?”

“Yup. So we get to sit here and go crazy.”

“Want to play a game?” Cait suggested, pulling her tablet from the air and closing her book app, scrolling through the multiplayer games she had installed, looking for one that might pique Rhys’ interest.

“Not really.” He pushed off the chair and swung himself towards the exit. “I’m going to lie down for a bit, kill a few hours with sleep.”

Cait started to say something but stopped herself, not really sure what she would have gone with. Rhys was the more experienced spacer and had made multiple Jupiter runs in his time with the company, but his current demeanour hinted at depression, which she felt responsible for. It could also be a ploy to guilt her, but even suspecting that didn’t stop it from working, and besides he didn’t seem like he’d do that, at least not deliberately.

She finished her coffee, disposed of the bag, then grabbed her tablet and launched herself down the hall to try and have a conversation with Rhys and see if there was any way she could lift his mood. The ship hadn’t been designed for pure zero G in mind – that was just a cost-cutting measure, so navigating wasn’t easy by design. It was strange to her to have to feel like she needed to be oriented with a distinct ‘up’ and ‘down’ as zero G ships and stations didn’t factor such directions into their layout. The mix of gravity-oriented design and the lack of gravity was something she was still getting under to after nearly two months of the ship. So it was that she took a few seconds to realise what she was looking at as she rounded the corner into the living quarters to find Rhys floating buck naked in the centre of the room, almost upside down, jerking off into what appeared to be the threadbare white singlet she thought she incinerated.

“Oh my god!” she exclaimed, trying and failing to back quickly out of the room. Instead as Rhys whipped his head around to see her a look of dumb shock on his face, she accidentally threw her tablet at him, bumped her head against the door frame as she scrabbled at the doorway for grip, and wound up tumbling into the hall curled up into a human cannonball as she clutched her head for protection. When she finally came to rest, Rhys was pulling himself out of the room – thankfully with his pants on.

“Cait, are you ok?”

“What the hell, man!”

“Hey, you coulda knocked!”

“The door was open! Plus, you’re supposed to tell me when you’re taking five.”

“Well… I feel weird about that!”

Put her hands to her temples, massaging away the beginnings of a tension headache.

“Was that my singlet?”

“Uh… yeah.”

“You know what, you keep it. It’s fine.”

“Well now I feel weird about that as well.”

“The threshold of weird was when you rescued it from the trash. Please, if it helps, keep it. With my blessing.”

“And I’ll close the door in the future.”

“Actually this is probably for the best, because it means the awkward part of having a conversation about this is already dealt with.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well I was thinking.” Cait pulled herself towards and slipped past Rhys, going back into the quarters, rescuing her tablet from where it was slowly ricocheting off the walls. “I don’t know how rough these long haul voyages normally are, but you’ve not had a female crewmate before, am I right?”

“That’s accurate.” Rhys shrugged.

“So maybe being stuck in here with me for four months is going to make you a bit more stir crazy than usual. I wouldn’t know. No judgment, but we can’t go on with this tension in the air and avoiding each other.”

“Look, I’m sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable. I’ll try and be more discreet.”

“I know you will, but I don’t know if we’re going to get past this by just not talking about it. We can’t go back in time to change things. So what can we do to amend things moving forward?”

“Well, ordinarily when I get rejected I have a drink and avoid seeing the person, or move on to someone else.” Rhys made an open palm gesture that encompassed the ship. “Those options are universally off the table unless I want to get sick off rubbing alcohol and set up camp in engineering for the rest of the trip.”

“I’d prefer you didn’t.” Cait said sympathetically.

There was a long silence.

“I’m trying to be objective about it but I only see two options here, because talking about it isn’t solving anything.” Rhys said.

“Ok, what are your options?” Cait asked guardedly.

“One: we ignore the issue and try to go about our business and hope we go back to normal. Two: we just go for it.”

“Go for it? As in…”

“Let it happen. Cut through the BS and just let nature take its course.”

“But that assumes I’m interested in doing that.” Cait objected.

“In which case we default to option one – but I’m struggling to believe you aren’t at least a little interested.”

Cait tried to respond but hesitated a little too long.


“Even if I would be, there are a bunch of reasons why I don’t think it’s a manageable compromise.”

“Then we go back to not talking about it and live with any awkwardness. I’m not trying to be a jerk here but that’s the reality.”

Cait sighed, realising he was right. Sometimes you couldn’t resolve some conflicts with pure diplomacy.

“Look, I can’t offer you intimacy. But what if I could help with the purely physical side of things?” she asked. “Would that improve the situation or make it worse?”

“I don’t know.” Rhys said carefully. “What did you have in mind? Some kind of coworkers with benefits situation?”

“I mean… not sex.”

“Well… what about oral?”

“No” Cait said bluntly, not even entertaining the notion.

“Using your hand?”

“Really?” she raised her metal arms, wiggling her fingers which clicked and whirred. Rhys grimaced thinking about the potential issues with pinching in the exposed servomotor joints.

“Ok, but I’m not sure where this conversation is going. Why don’t you throw some ideas back at me?”

“Would it help if I was present? Would that make it more… satisfying?” Cait enquired, haltingly.

“Like watching me?” Rhys asked.

“If that would help, I could watch you do it.” Cait conceded, barely able to believe she was even considering it.

“Can I touch you?”


“Would you be naked?”

“No.” Cait said hesitantly. Rhys’ expression indicated he was becoming frustrated with the absence of compromise and while she felt she didn’t owe him anything, she was the one who started this conversation. “What about topless?” She suggested anxiously, tapping her fingertips together.

“No bra?” Rhys clarified.

“No bra.” Cait affirmed.

“Ok.” Clearly he wasn’t entirely convinced but was trying to be grateful.

“Ok,” Cait said with a decisive nod, committing herself. “How should we do this?”

“Uh, you mean right now?”

“No time like the present, especially since I already interrupted you.” Cait said, suddenly in a hurry to get on with it.

“Ok. Why don’t you sit on the edge of your bunk?” Rhys suggested, and Cait floated over, pulling herself down until she was settled against the padded base, bracing one hand above the upper bunk to keep herself in place as Rhys slipped out of his pants again. He floated over to her and steadied himself against the upper bunk, his penis half-erect a couple of feet from her face. Suddenly having him crowding her in her personal space felt very confronting. She forced herself to look at him, figuring this was the relatively easy part. After a few moments she glanced up to his face realising he was waiting for her.

Biting her lip, she hooked the fingers of her free hand under the hem of her singlet and started to pull it up her body. The material was form fitting to her skin but the mesh parts were stretchy. The singlet bunched around her as she pulled it up, exposing a deep purple scar that cut across her stomach like a sword wound, surrounded by a few pockmarked spots that looked like puncture wounds. She hesitated realising that this was the first time anyone would have seen her topless in almost two years, and the first time anyone had seen her scars. Forging on, she kept going until the bunched singlet reached her breasts, then with another tug she exposed herself. Free of the confinement of the material her large breasts bounced on her chest, larger than Rhys probably expected. Double-D cups were normally heavy on her petite frame but with no gravity they sat slightly high, gently swaying, bouncing gently against each other before finally coming to rest. Her relatively tiny nipples were the mildest shade of pink against her white skin, her areola nearly colourless, though as the reality that Rhys was now staring at them did cause her to become flushed and a little more colour crept in. She looked away for a moment to conceal her momentary embarrassment. She had rather expected that he would be further away from her when she suggested this and again felt cornered, slightly claustrophobic, as his cock began to swell to a full erection right in front of her.

It wasn’t as though Cait had not had other lovers, but she hadn’t been with anyone since her accident as she had become self-conscious about her body. She knew she was attractive – or had been - but the horror of what had happened left her unable to feel desired, and Rhys was the first person who had shown interest in her in nearly two years. There was no relationship, or mutual benefit, they were just prisoners in deep space so she felt like the only reason he even got distracted by her was out of biological necessity, so it was all the more degrading position to be in, exposing herself with her singlet bunched up over her tits like some girl in a flashing porn video purely so this man she’d only known a few weeks could pleasure himself.

Rhys pushed himself down a little so his face was more level with her breasts, apparently wanting to study them closely. He steadied himself with his left hand and grasped himself with his right, beginning to slowly stroke himself. Cait watched his face as he worked, finding it fascinating that men were so transfixed by boobs – presumably for the same reason she was embarrassed to display them. Even after all these years of human growth and change they still lived in a society where certain things were taboo and while there were a large number of libertines that had very open beliefs with respect to human sexuality, Cait was not among them, and very private about her body, especially once it had become scarred. Obviously that ingrained self-shame was what made it all the more appealing when men finally got woman to get naked for them.

Rhys seemed happy to take his time, maybe by drawing things out it would produce a more satisfying result – which would be ideal if it would prevent her needing to do this again – or maybe he just figured that the longer it took him to finish, the longer he could look at her. Either way, he stroked his shaft at a leisurely pace, occasionally looking up at her face to make sure she was watching him. After a few minutes he adjusted his grip on the bunk frame to raise himself into the air to bring his cock into her field of view, watching her watching him jerk it. She took the hint and stared fixedly at the swollen head, an angry purple-red. Rhys began to jerk himself faster, his breaths growing deeper. As it became clear he was getting close. Cait’s mind turned to what they were going to do about that. She didn’t really want to interrupt him to have a discussion about it and resigned herself to the inevitable as Rhys’ strokes became more frantic and he was clearly passing his point of no return.

“I’m coming.” Rhys grunted in warning. Cait realised that, whether deliberate on Rhys’ part or not, he was aimed directly at her face – and that was not going to happen if she had any control over it. Without really thinking about it Cait arched her back and cupped herself in her hands, offering her fleshy globes up as sacrifice to his pleasure. With a loud groan of relief Rhys peaked and held his cock around the base to, in a rather presumptuous move, press his cock against her offered cleavage as his balls tightened and his shaft flexed, hot sticky fluid pulsing forth from the flared head and splattering against her skin, his cockhead rubbing between her breasts he ejected pulse after pulse that oozed deep into the soft crevice.

He shuddered as he hung in the air above her, still rubbing his cock against her well-slimed cleavage, apparently wanting to eke every last bit of pleasure out of the experience while he could.

“Ok, that’s enough.” Cait said firmly, releasing her hold on herself and pushing herself back into the confines of her bunk, away from his slowly shrinking rod. Rhys acquiesced, drifting back away from her and finding his pants to pull them back on while she regarded the mess on her chest. On one hand she was eager to cover herself again but on the other hand she needed to clean up first. She cradled her chest with one arm, modestly blocking her nipples from Rhys’ view to establish a clear barrier between what they had just done and business as usual.

“I hope that helped.” Cait said, trying not to sound too irritated.

“That was… really great. Thank you.” Rhys sounded contrite, almost sheepish. Cait realised he was probably experiencing some post-orgasm clarity, and was aware that he had perhaps pushed things too far, taken some liberties in the heat of the moment. She decided if he was more self-aware now there was no need to have a discussion about it at this juncture, and she would clarify things better if there was a next time, since she didn’t doubt that Rhys would seek her assistance again.

“Do you need anything?” Rhys asked watching her from the other side of the narrow room.

“Privacy.” Cait said levelly. Rhys nodded and left the room. Once he was gone she hit the door switch then assessed the damage. His cum was spread all through her cleavage, clinging to her skin all the way down. It seemed like an unusually high volume and she wondered how many days of pent up frustration that represented. She took a cloth and some dilute ethanol solution they usually used to clean grease off their hands and gave herself a thorough wiping down until the stickiness and musky odour was gone before pulling her singlet back down over herself. Taking a deep breath to calm herself she grabbed her tablet, opened the door and floated back down the hall to the bridge to find Rhys waiting for her, apparently monitoring the sensors from the auxiliary station.

“Hey.” He said, acknowledging her arrival. “Can we talk?”

“About what?”

“Come on, Cait.”

“You already did that.”

“Oof. Ok, about that...”

“Look, the whole reason I agreed to help you out was to make our working relationship less awkward, not more. I’m drawing a clear line between that…” she gestured back at the quarters “…and this.” Gesturing at the instruments on the bridge.

“Ok, but let me just say this, and then I’ll go back to engineering, and that’ll be the end of it.” Rhys pressed.

“Fine.” Cait sighed, drifting over to her seat and deciding she had earned another coffee, ordering one from the mess computer. “Start talking.”

“Firstly I just want to say I know that me being horny is not an excuse for anything and you absolutely did not have to do anything for me.”

“I appreciate you acknowledging that.” Cait conceded.

“Secondly, I know you expressly said no touching.”

“Yeah, next time we need to plan ahead for that.”

“Thirdly… next time?”

“I’m a realist Rhys.” Cait paused as her coffee arrived and she opened it, taking a sip. “We still have months between here and Ganymede. As much as I believe I have no responsibility for your sexual needs and as a veteran spacer you should really have this figured out for yourself by now, there’s no point closing the gate once the horse has bolted.”

She paused again but Rhys didn’t seem in a hurry to speak, deciding silence was the most sensible option available to him.

“I am not saying that I’m just going to be some warm body when you need a release, but I’m leaving the option on the table. I’m also putting it in your hands. You take care of your own business. When you feel you need my assistance, tell me directly. No coy flirting or games. Tell me, and we will work something out.”

“Okay…” Rhys said slowly as Cait paused to sip her coffee again.

“However.” Cait said warningly. “Do not abuse this offer. If I think you are simply taking advantage, I will cut you off.”

“I know this isn’t something you wanted but if it’s really that much of a chore…”

“Rhys, I am not trying to be mean, I’m trying to be firm so that once we have ventilated all the issues we can go back to normal without all this tension in the air. And there’s no point you sitting there promising me it will be different going forward. I promise you, there is no ill will. Just professionalism.”

“I just don’t want you to be mad.”

“As long as you follow my rules, I won’t be.”

“Ok.” Rhys said after a long pause. “One last thing.”

“One last thing, and then this incredibly difficult conversation ends and we go back to work?”


“Ok, shoot.”

“I just wanted to say I really enjoyed it. I know you might feel like I just, y’know, used you. But you being involved was really… great.” Rhys finished lamely. Cait remained silent, her face stoic, prompting Rhys to try again.

“I know you want to maintain a professional barrier, so I’m not trying to make this something it’s not. But if you ever needed some help, I just want you to know I’m available for you as well.”

Faced with his offer, Cait couldn’t help but see it as a ploy for Rhys to get in her pants again, flying directly in the face of their new agreement, but she bit her tongue and took a moment to reflect on her position. The facts were that Rhys was the first person she’d been with since her accident and moreover with the metal prosthetics she was rendered unable to get pleasure from touching herself. Admittedly a toy would probably have helped but involving even more artificial objects presented an emotional challenge that made her feel ill. Consequently, she had not experienced a proper release for all that time, but because her body issues had also put a damper on her libido it wasn’t something she had given much thought. Maybe it was vulnerability that she was struggling to face, which made Rhys’ counteroffer hard to process. It wasn’t fair to judge him just for offering her what she had already done for him, even if there was an ulterior motive on his part. Maybe when she got to Ganymede she should spend some of her earnings on a really good therapist, but for now she would have carry on.

“Noted.” She said, not unkindly. “Now I really think we should get back to work.”

Rating: 91%, Read 6496 times, Posted Oct 16, 2019

Science-Fiction | At work, Female, Male, Masturbation, Reluctance


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