Derek Reese felt the warm light of the sun cascade down his face and lay completely still to allow it to engulf his naked body completely. It’d been a very long time since he’d been able to sleep so comfortably, in a bed no less, and with a beautiful woman at his side. The night had been perfect and it let him to finally blow off the steam that had been brewing inside him like a cancer. It had even softened him a bit more than he’d like to admit to himself. Where he was laying was the perfect example of that. Every iota of his training had drilled into him that he should never let himself be exposed to the world while sleeping (not that he got much sleeping done but that was immaterial), but last night he didn’t care. He and Jesse went to one of the exterior rooms on the fourth floor – it was higher than the tanks could see and the Aerial HKs rarely flew low enough to look into those rooms – and lay next to a large bay window that overlooked the gloomy skeleton of Los Angeles. It was an eerie backdrop; though he didn’t care about the scenery. He was only concerned with the woman between his two hands.
It was hard for him to understand what it was about Jesse that practically made him lose control of himself. There was something about her that he found irresistible, intoxicating was the better word for it. She had a power over him and he didn’t really understand how he felt so good with her so quickly. He’d been with other women but it was different this time. It was like he’d known her for his entire life and like they were meant to be together. Maybe, in another life, they’d call what they shared love at first sight. Here he really didn’t know what to call it other than something he really needed.
He rolled on his side and reached for her wanting her body to be the first thing his fingers felt, her face to be the first thing that he saw. There was nothing there. His eyes fluttered open in a fury and he rushed his hands over the open space. How the hell did she get away? Derek was a trained soldier, well unofficially trained, and he was sensitive to even the simplest touches. How could she have slipped away? She wasn’t a figment of his imagination, it wasn’t possible for her to have been, so where could she have gotten to? Maybe he’d have to recheck his sensitivity.
Reese rolled forward and sat which his head in his hands as he wondered how she got away. He’d done it before to so many women why should he have felt surprise that there was a woman out there who was just as good at it as he was? All it managed to do was make him want her more. She was a mystery and if there was one thing that Derek liked it was a mystery. Maybe that was what drew him to her like a moth to a flame?
While he yawned Derek walked over to the window, it didn’t seem so risky to him, and looked out at the world below. It was still dark, depressing, and painful but there were thankfully no machines that he could see trying to swarm their hideaway. There was actually no activity outside the window which was a welcome change from having to deal with that walker at their old base that Connor destroyed. Though, that little mission seemed to have led Skynet right to them. The machines did come only a few short hours after that tin can was destroyed. Then again there was still the mystery of Kyle’s benefactor to deal with.
From the door he heard the noise of the handle giving way to allow someone to come in from the other side. Derek, realizing he was still undressed, didn’t rush to clothe himself and merely turned toward it. It was probably Jesse coming back so that they could have another round of ‘exercise’ as she’d called it so it was better to just cut out the middle steps and get right to the good stuff.
“What the hell are you doing?” Kyle Reese yelled looking at his brother. He turned and looked at the closet, “Why the hell aren’t you dressed yet?”
Kyle’s brother, embarrassed to an extent, grabbed his pants and slid them back on. “What? It’s not like you haven’t seen it before.”
“I could’ve done without seeing your junk ever again too,” the younger brother answered. “What the hell’s taking you so long to get ready anyway?”
“I had a late night,” he said looking for his strewn about clothes. “Lots of stuff going on and a friend came over so I was up even later than usual. We went exercising.”
Kyle was still looking at the closet not quite ready to look at Derek yet. “Look, what you do with your friends is really none of my business and I really don’t want to know. Though, right now, I need you to come with me to the Security Room so that we can meet with Mister Ellison. We have an operation that we’re planning and I could use your input.”
“Aren’t you just going to override me with whatever Connor suggests anyway?” Derek lobbied trying to get a rise out of his brother. He holstered his Beretta. “You tend to do that.”
“Not every time,” the younger Reese wasn’t taking the bait and tried to avoid the situation. “If he has a good idea we’ll go with it, just like if you have a good idea we’ll run with yours.”
Derek snorted, “Sure, that’s what I meant to say.” He buckled the last strap that held the knife holster around his leg, “You ready to go?”
“Waiting on you,” Derek’s brother was finally looking at him. “We don’t have a lot of time.”
“What’re we planning anyway? Who’s this Ellison guy?” Kyle’s brother queried as they started down the hallway.
Kyle handed over a note that was inside his pocket to his brother, “You’re already well aware of what we’re doing.” He saw Derek looking at the contents of the crumpled paper, “We’re carrying out that mission that we were planning before Skynet attacked our base. We’re going to Topanga.”
“You can’t be serious!” The older Reese yelled at the younger one. “Didn’t that attack drill it into your head that it was a machine trap? There’s nothing at Topanga Canyon. There’s no Skynet base, there’s no doomsday machine that’ll kill us all, there’s nothing there that’s important. I thought that you’d figure it out after the machine army descended on our bunker that it was all a trap.”
“Derek,” Kyle tried to calm him.
“Don’t take that tone with me little boy,” Derek sounded a lot like their father and he even used the title that irritated the both of them so much when children. “You’re smarter than this.”
They kept walking with Kyle holding his hand around Derek’s bicep, “Listen to me and don’t talk to me like I’m some little kid. That boy that you had to protect when dad died, he’s gone. He’s not here anymore. That note was not brought by me, Connor, anybody in our group. It was here already. Understand?”
“What the hell is there to understand? Hmm?” Derek broke free of the hold and kept going, “Skynet’s playing with us with those messages and they used your belief in them to wipe out our home. Skynet tracked you with those messages we received that’s it. If we go to Topanga then everything will be for nothing. We’ll die because Skynet’s just trying to lure us there.”
“Ellison’s group found the Skynet base in Topanga Canyon,” Kyle revealed in a low voice, “the base’s real, Derek, it isn’t imaginary. Ellison’s own people, led by a woman named Flores that used to be in the Navy, got this information for us. They were planning their own assault without our help before we got here.”
The mentioning of Jesse’s name took the heart out of his fight and Kyle saw it but held his tongue. Derek saw this and spoke in his cynical tone, “let’s go talk about how we’re going to commit suicide shall we?”
The younger brother scratched at his five o’clock shadow and grinned ear to ear, “You faker. I guess I know the name of the person you exercised with.”
“Go to hell,” the older brother teased.
“I thought we vacationed there,” Kyle teased back. “We have a nice riverfront property on the river Styx if I recall correctly.”
Derek laughed, “You’re forgetting we had to trade in that property. It was a timeshare only and the other owner decided that they wanted to buy it outright. It sucks too because I liked our neighbors.”
Kyle laughed and opened the door, “Well I guess we can’t have everything.” He motioned, “After you.”
Seeing Savannah Weaver standing on the other side with her phased plasma rifle pointed right at him Derek held back for a second and looked at Kyle. “Maybe it’d be better if you go first.” He looked at the girl and her steel gaze, “I insist.”