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This Shoal of Space:

Zoë Calla & the Dark Starship

(World's First E-Book—Published On the Web in 1996 For Digital Download)

a Dark SF novel originally titled Heartbreaker

by John Argo

Preface   Chapter 1   Intralog  Part I-Chapter 2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   Part II-Chapter 66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   Outlog


Chapter 48.

ZoŽ packed a few things. She wanted to take a long hot soak in the tub to wash away pathetic Mabel, the shack, most of all her strange sick satisfaction at seeing Mabel meet justice. Am I becoming like Vic? There was a phone message from Roger: "Please call." She started a pot of soup while she dialed. She drew the drapes over the curtains and turned on a lamp.

"Hello?" Roger said.

"Hi, it's me," she said unbuttoning her blouse, cradling the portable phone under her chin. The sound of his voice, so strong and calm and sane, made her feel smiley. Mabel kept coming, kept getting shot. ZoŽ shut it out of her mind.

"Oh Hi Me," Roger said.

She tugged off first one sleeve, then the other. It was cold in the apartment, and her nipples hardened under the flimsy bra. "It's good to hear a friendly voice."

"Amen," Roger said.

She dropped her wet jeans. "I'll tell you about it some time." The tea kettle whistled and the microwave dinged.


"Ymf?" She had a mouthful of mushroom bits and crackers.

"I called to ask you to dinner tomorrow night. Think you can come? And bring Max?"

The house on Mulberry Street was buttoned up tight. Rain lashed its windows. Wind tore at the trees outside, banging limbs against the walls. What about the Cold Thing? ZoŽ sat on a third floor potty with a crossword puzzle and shivered. The seat was cold and made her bottom goosebumply. Outside, rain splattered endlessly on concrete by the trashcans.

When she was a little girl she'd come up here when Daddy was home from his sales trips and the downstairs bathroom was busy. It had been a happy, secure feeling. After Daddy died and things got dark, she'd come up here to be alone, trying to pretend that Daddy was really home again downstairs. Mother had changedÖstarted calling her namesÖ

She'd started dating and sleeping with guys and met Frank...old, old, old history. Cold. She hoped that now Evvie would be free and have a happy and safe life. And even the Cold Thing (it was still there, yes) slumbered; no, it was too busy elsewhere to bother with her at the moment.

Alone, after Max and Mother had gone to their beds, ZoŽ wished Roger were with her. She'd liked the way he'd held her and she meant to ask him again. She slipped between the cold sheets and cuddled in a ball, hands between her thighs.

Gradually, her own warmth massaged her. She thought about Roger. She reached down and touched her hair sleepily, then noticed wetness. Her finger moved sleepily. She sighed. Well-lubricated, her fingertip moved up and down, slowly, the pressure each way on her clitoris causing a wave of arousal to move through her gut.

Another storm front was moving in. She yawned. It was that time of year, and good to be indoors with a fire and a book if you couldn't be in someone's arms. Yawn! Whose arms? Dinner with... Rain spattered against the window in slow rhythms. Warm under the covers, finger becoming leaden with sleepiness, she rose to a small climax (woke herself with a faint cry, thinking a big wave had crashed on her Venus mound) then tumbled wetly down the hill into sleep.


Copyright © 1990-1996-2014 by John Argo, Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved.