SNOWBIRD'S SHORTS

Just For Fun Stories of the Snowbird Saga

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I honestly have done almost no "for fun" writing for a year—what with a heavy work schedule, editing on two novels, and just a general lack of interest. Hopefully this will change things a bit!

Our first installment is a bit on the risque side, but nothing too sexy. PG-13. Hat tip to my dad for this one, who wrote this into one of his stories. Hope he doesn't mind me borrowing a little…

There's a subtle Sailor Moon reference in this chapter. "Charlie Mike," incidentally, is military shorthand for "continue mission."

OPERATION ONE: FALCONS GETTING FREAKY

Vingaard Keep

Virentofta, Pesht Military District, Draconis Combine

Senefa Malthus was tired. She had been gone a month from Virentofta, on a liasion trip to Precentor Martial Victor Steiner-Davion's headquarters on Tukayyid. With the Word of Blake Jihad, interstellar communications was difficult at times, and with sensitive information, it was better to go in person. It meant a long commute—even with JumpShips and a partial command circuit, it was two weeks to Tukayyid one-way—but necessary. Senefa understood necessary, and she understood why her commanding officer and best friend Sheila Arla-Vlata would ask her to carry the message. She trusted Senefa implicitly, one of less than ten people Sheila felt that way about, which, as she mentioned once, included God.

In any case, it was over. The boring trip between systems, the vaguely nauseous feeling during jumps, the interminable meetings—it was enough for anyone to crave some action, much less a Clanswoman literally bred for combat. Senefa knew she was one of the few Sentinels who wanted to get back into battle, to fight the maniacal Word of Blake and their senseless Jihad. For now, however, she was content to get home and rest for a day or two.

There were other reasons, as well. Waiting at home was her lover, Vornzel. Senefa missed him, more than a Clanswoman should miss a lover, but Senefa did not care much for Clan conventions anymore. Though her background did not really have a concept for love as an Inner Spherian would consider it, she considered herself very much in love with the big former Elemental. The more she thought about it, the more she wanted him. His long, cornrowed hair that she liked to run her fingers through. His handsome face. His biceps, and a thick, broad, muscled chest that left every female who saw him shirtless with dry mouths. His big yet gentle hands. And further below the toned abdominals and between the powerful thighs…well, Senefa mused, she should quit thinking about some things before her driver noticed she was turning a bit red and breathing a bit hard. There was her reputation to consider, after all.

"We're here, Commander." Captain John Stengovich had picked her up at the DropPort, a personal favor to Vornzel, the commanding officer of 3rd Company, Sentinels Light Infantry—that and the fact that Senefa, despite having nearly 20 years of experience as a MechWarrior, did not really know how to drive. Stengovich let her out like a butler, then insisted on getting her luggage, all two duffel bags of it; Clanfolk traveled light. "That is really not necessary, Captain," Senefa told him.

"No trouble, Commander." He followed her through the gate to the modest house she and Vornzel shared. Both of them would have been content with a room in the barracks, but Sheila insisted on "setting them up" close to the base, pointing out that sometimes commanders and married couples needed their privacy. Senefa and Vornzel were not married, but Senefa bowed to Sheila's logic. "Besides, I wanted to introduce you to someone."

That someone was soon revealed. Standing at the back door of Senefa's house was a young woman with tanned skin and, incongrously, blond hair. As soon as Senefa and Stengovich came into view, she snapped to attention with enough force that the leather of her boots smacked together audibly. Her salute was one that would make a drill instructor cry with admiration. She wore the gray, urban-camouflage uniform of the SLI, and despite the body armor and submachinegun slung over her shoulder, the creases on her pants were sharp enough to cut paper. "Commander, this is Private First Class Natsuki Aoyama."

Senefa weighed the PFC. She was young, probably not quite 19, obviously just out of the rigorous SLI training program that washed out two-thirds of every applying class, and turned those who were left into fanatics—but also some of the best light infantry in the Inner Sphere. Aoyama was eager to please and would probably eat a hand grenade if Senefa so ordered. Senefa returned the salute and Aoyama returned to rigorous attention. "At ease, Private," Stengovich said with a smile, and the trooper's hands shot behind her back as she assumed a perfect at-ease position. "PFC Aoyama is here as your guard."

Senefa raised an eyebrow. "That is hardly necessary, Captain." She did not need to add why. Senefa Malthus was considered the best hand-to-hand fighter in the entire Sentinels, with the exception of two people—Sheila Arla-Vlata and Vornzel. And the jury was out on Sheila. Any would-be assassin who broke into their home would face two very upset Clanfolk, trained since birth in combat, both of whom had killed their first enemy before puberty.

Stengovich shrugged. "Nevertheless, Commander, it's Commander Arla-Vlata's orders. She wants all officers above the rank of Major to have someone on guard at all times. We can't take chances that a WOB hit team might take someone out. Hell, Commander Arla-Vlata has six people on her."

"She is the regimental commander. I only command an understrength battalion. And I am a highly trained—"

"—Clanswoman who has almost never been beat in a Circle of Equals. Yes, I know, Commander. And your husband commands an entire company of special forces, including me, and he could kick our asses. That's why there's only one guard for you. Besides, PFC Aoyama could use the experience."

Senefa glanced at Aoyama's posture, her bearing, and especially her eyes. "Private Aoyama, have you seen combat?"

"No, ma'am!" The response was crisp and sharp.

Senefa bit back a sigh. This was Sheila being a little paranoid. There was no arguing about this, then, and there was a threat…even if Senefa thought that WOB assassins would have something better to do than assassinate a battalion commander of a faraway mercenary unit, no matter how much a pain the Sentinels were for them. It was merely to be accepted, and in any case, she was tired. Aoyama would serve as a speedbump to any potential assassins, at least. "Very well. Carry on."

"Yes, ma'am!" Aoyama unslung her weapon and stood in a picture-perfect guard position. Senefa took her bags for Stengovich, smiled a little at his wink, and went into her house.

The interior was dark, and she wondered if Vornzel was home. He knew she was returning today, but duty might have called him away, or perhaps he was out shopping for food. One would not think an Elemental warrior would be something of a gourmet, but Vornzel was. She slipped off her bags and entered the kitchen to hang up her jacket.

Then she smelled him. Vornzel somehow slipped out of the shadows and stood behind her. Her breath caught in her throat. He was wearing the ridiculously-named Hatchetman body spray that she illogically loved. His hands rested on her shoulders. "I have missed you," he whispered in her ear.

"I…I have missed you," she replied.

Without warning, he spun her around and kissed her firmly. Several times. While he did so, his hands were moving, rapidly divesting her of jacket, then her uniform blouse, then her pants. In seconds, Senefa was stripped quite efficiently and in a military fashion. Vornzel was already without a stitch. He picked her up as if she weighed nothing and carried her into the bathroom. Senefa did not resist and was not about to.

They got into the shower, their hands caressing each other, somehow breaking off long enough to turn the taps on. Warm water sprayed over them, and Vornzel then opened a bottle of strawberry-scented shampoo, pouring it over her head. For some reason, Senefa found Vornzel washing her hair to be incredibly erotic, and she was shaking as his fingers massaged the shampoo into her scalp. He was not quite as nonchalant as he seemed, and more of the suds ended up off of her hair than in it, but that made things more fun. Not to mention slippery, which only got worse as he rinsed off her hair.

"Vornzel," Senefa said in a none-too-steady voice, "I humbly request that we continue this in our bedroom."

"Aff, of course," he returned with a wicked glint in his eye. "That was always my intention, Senefa. However, you needed a bath, and it was merely the best way to welcome you home."

"Ah. Ahhh," she groaned as his fingers slid up her sides. For someone who could bend an aluminum bar with his bare hands, Vornzel could be maddeningly gentle, and he enjoyed being such. Senefa Malthus might have a reputation in the Sentinels as being an ice-cold Clanswoman, but he knew how to bring her to a boil. Though Clan relationships were open, neither had ever wanted to try another.

He turned off the water and they stepped out. He gave her only a desultory toweling off before once more picking her up and heading for the bedroom. Most of the small house was carpeted, but not the kitchen—which was lineoleum—or the bedroom, which had a black marble floor. Senefa kept it polished to a high sheen like everything else meticulously maintained in their spartan home.

Senefa abruptly decided that there was really no point in waiting to start off the festivities, as it were. Siniously, she untangled herself from where he cradled her in his arms, putting her arms around his neck while her long legs went around his waist. She licked his face like an animal and tried to crush herself against his chest. Vornzel's smile widened. When Senefa got well and truly turned on, she approached sex with the same attitude that she approached combat: overwhelming, savage, undeniable force, and all one could do was hang on until Superstorm Senefa finished her amorous rampage. Gentleness or quarter was no longer needed, required, or wanted.

That said, Vornzel was afraid that, the way Senefa was moving, she was likely to do him a mischief, so he continued to hold her, intending to lay her gently on their wide bed. However, Senefa's lamprey-like clinging, her growls as her lips devoured his, and the increasing boldness of her hands were just a bit distracting, and he was not really paying as much attention as an Elemental Star Commander probably should.

Senefa's back had barely touched the bed when Vornzel's still-wet feet slipped on the black marble.

She reacted instinctively, her brain going from sex mode to combat mode in half a second. Faced with the possibility of 250 pounds of muscular Elemental landing directly atop her, Senefa braced herself against the bed, and pitched him over her head—and his—in a perfect judo throw. Unfortunately, not even the genetically-enhanced reflexes of a Clan MechWarrior could buy the second she needed to untangle her legs completely. The result of all this was that Vornzel, after doing a somersault over Senefa, landed hard on his rear end on the opposite of the bed, and Senefa was catapulted into the wall. She could not bite back a shout of pain, while Vornzel let loose with a horrible unClanlike oath. Senefa, dizzy and with her gyro, as it were, definitely out, fell forward.

The back door crashed open, propelled by a size four combat boot. Private First Class Natsuki Aoyama burst into the house, helmet on and submachinegun out. Seeing nothing but noting with admirable situational awareness the wet footprints, she charged, following them into the bedroom. Aoyama fully expected to find Vornzel and Senefa possibly wounded or even dead, and a black-suited Word of Blake assassin standing over them. "Nobody move! On the floor! Oshioki yo!" In her excitement, she lapsed back into her native Japanese.

To her shock, there was no bloody corpse or ninjalike assassin…just a rumpled bed, a dent in the wall, and two very naked people: Vornzel, leaning back against the bed, teeth gritted against the pain, and Senefa, trying to shake off the ringing in her head, her face planted directly in her lover's crotch.

Aoyama's eyes rounded. As she had not witnessed the impromptu demonstration of bedroom gymnastics, she came to exactly the wrong conclusion, though she could hardly be blamed for what rather X-rated thoughts were going through her mind at that moment. Her mouth opened, closed, then she struggled out, "Ah…erhm…buh…"

Vornzel's eyes opened and saw Aoyama standing there, stammering and still holding the submachinegun, one finger on the trigger, the safety clearly off, and the barrel pointing at he and Senefa both. He sprang to his feet, leaving Senefa to sprawl on the floor with a muttered "Freebirth!", and put his hands above his head. "Private Aoyama…"

Aoyama's eyes widened even further as her gaze went to where Senefa's head had been a second before. "Zou," she breathed in amazement.

"Private Aoyama!" Vornzel shouted.

"Sir!" Aoyama snapped to attention.

Vornzel did not really know what to say next. Aoyama stood in full battle gear, outfitted for urban warfare, a recruiting poster for the Sentinels Light Infantry, aside from her straying eyes. Across the bed was he and Lieutenant Commander Senefa Malthus, neither of which with a square millimeter of clothing between them. Neither Clan Jade Falcon, nor the Sentinels, nor his years of combat experienced trained a man for something like this. He settled on doctrine. "Return to your post and carry on."

"Sir!" Aoyama hesitated. "Sir, should I report this…" At the smoldering look of imminent homicide in Vornzel's eyes, Aoyama fled. Luckily, the back door had survived her entry better than anyone's dignity.

After he heard the door close and lock, Vornzel sighed and looked down. "Are you all right, Senefa?"

She sat up and rubbed the back of her head. "I…" She smiled and laughed. "I am tactical."

He returned her smile. "I am glad to hear that, quiaff? Shall we go on or shall I find the medikit?"

Senefa stood and kissed him. "Charlie Mike."