Carol snuggled into Erica’s chest and sighed happily. “I love you so much.”
“And I love you.” Erica stroked her fellow astronaut’s dark hair and then kissed it warmly. “But I still wonder, is this right? We’re supposed to be professionals. And I’m straight, for god’s sake. At least, I was.”
“Is it right?” Carol echoed. “Does it feel good?”
“It feels amazing.”
“Then stop worrying.” She tipped her head back and pressed her lips against Erica’s. “Enjoy the moment.”
“But haven’t you ever wondered—”
“Nope. And if you say that again, I’ll spank you.”
Erica raised an eyebrow. “Is that supposed to stop me, or encourage me?”
“No.” She kissed Carol’s forehead. “I’m very corrigible.”
“Is that even a word?”
“Doesn’t matter. Want to see what the boys are up to?”
Carol rolled her eyes. “Probably sucking each other again.”
“Dean’s sucking now?”
“I’m not sure. I think Jonas did most of it, but this trip is full of surprises, right?” She drew her fingers across Erica’s moist lips, which made her lover shiver with delight. “Sorry, I’d better not. We’ll get distracted again.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“It’s not, but we should save it for bed time.”
“Bed time is whenever we say it is.” Erica bent down and delivered one final—and longing—kiss to Carol’s lips before releasing her. “That was so difficult to do.”
“Letting you get out of my bed.”
“Trust me, I don’t want to go. But my curiosity is burning. Come on.” She backed out of the privacy alcove that formed Erica’s bedroom.
“You’re still naked.”
“So are you.”
“Okay. I guess we’re doing this spying thing in our birthday suits.”
“We’re not spying,” Carol insisted, “we’re making sure they’re okay.”
“Is that what we’re doing?” Erica followed her companion through the central cylinder that comprised Diomedes. Behind them, the five Prometheus II engines rumbled. Ahead lay the landing module, christened Athena, which would brave the long drop to the Martian regolith, but only after the crew had assessed the situation on the surface.
Carol moved stealthily in the one-quarter gravity, sliding her feet closer to Jonas’s privacy cubicle. The four bedrooms were spaced out to reduce the effect of any meteoric impact on the ship. To lose one crew member would be disastrous. To lose two could be catastrophic. Of course, with everybody sharing beds, the designer’s plans were rendered moot.
“I don’t hear anything,” Erica whispered. When Carol smiled and beckoned, she moved closer and pressed her body against her friend’s back, and peered at the spooned men, both naked and smiling.
“Is he . . . inside him?” Erica asked.
“If he isn’t, they’re very close.”
“They look so happy.” She tugged on Carol’s arm. “We should leave them alone.”
“But they look so hot together.” She frowned, remembering she was talking about her supposedly straight husband.
“Come back to bed,” Erica pleaded. “I want to kiss you all over again.”
“I was straight . . . before this crazy trip.” She shook her head.
“What did you say?”
“I said, sure. I’m coming.”
“You do like sleeping with me . . . don’t you?”
“I love it, Erica. Give me time to get used to the idea of being with you, okay?”
“I will. As long as you do the same for me.” Erica smiled