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Sex Life of the Gods, The

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<h2 title="Chapter Nineteen"><SPAN name="p157" id="p157"></SPAN><span class="pagenum"><span class="ns">[p</span>157<span class="ns">]<br /></span></span>CHAPTER NINETEEN</h2> <p>She stood there for a moment and stared at the two of them, and he could see from her face that she was not sure which one was her husband. Lors came to his feet and looked at her, not quite sure what to say or do.</p> <p>“Beth...”</p> <p>“Don’t explain, Lors,” she told him. Her voice was as calm and as unruffled as though she found men from outer space in the cabin every afternoon.</p> <p>“I brought him back,” Lors began and felt silly. He wondered vaguely how she had known about him and his being a spaceman.</p> <p>She came into the room and up to where he stood, her eyes boring into his. “Why did you bring him back? You could have come back by yourself and continued the whole thing.”</p> <p>The realization of her words dawned upon him slowly and he blinked. “You <em>know</em> about me? How...”</p> <p>“I’ll tell you later. Why did you bring him back?”</p> <p>“You want him, don’t you? It couldn’t work out. Any fool can see that.” He reached out and gripped her shoulders firmly. “It wasn’t supposed to happen this way, Beth. It was all supposed to go like clockwork; we never figured on the scout ship being wrecked, and I never figured on falling in love with you...”</p> <p>“That’s why you brought him back? Because you love me?”</p> <p>He nodded, trying vainly to brush aside the trembling emotion that lifted within him at the <SPAN name="p158" id="p158"></SPAN><span class="pagenum"><span class="ns">[p</span>158<span class="ns">] </span></span>touch of her flesh. It was a weird feeling.</p> <p>“I thought about taking his place, Beth. I thought about it - but I knew it wouldn’t work. It was a half crazy thing in the beginning. I ... I’m sorry.”</p> <p>A faint smile tugged at her lips. “Don’t be. I’m not the least bit sorry, but I’m glad I know the truth. Now it doesn’t seem so ridiculous - Brice disappearing into thin air.” She looked about the room. “Where is he?”</p> <p>“Dead.”</p> <p>“Dead?” Her eyes widened.</p> <p>Lors nodded. “I brought your husband back against my Commander’s orders. When I tried to get Brice out of the hospital, he went berserk and began shooting things up. One of the spacers killed him.”</p> <p>“Poor Nolan,” she whispered and he could see the tears welling in her eyes. Then she looked at him sharply. “You acted against orders?”</p> <p>He nodded again.</p> <p>“What will happen to you?”</p> <p>“Nothing. It’ll all come out all right. But, Beth, how did you know? Who told you about this?”</p> <p>“I did.”</p> <p>Lors whirled about, his eyes swinging against those of the husky blond in the dress suit who stood in the doorway of the cabin. Automatically, his hand dropped toward the pistol at his side, but the blond stopped him.</p> <p>“Don’t bother with that, Lors,” he grinned. “I’m not about to draw.”</p> <p>“Who are you,” Lors demanded.</p> <p>“Here, I’m Cartwell, of the Secret Service. <SPAN name="p159" id="p159"></SPAN><span class="pagenum"><span class="ns">[p</span>159<span class="ns">] </span></span>But actually I’m Firstspacer Nesso of the 6th. Terran Command.”</p> <p>“You told her?” Lors asked, amazed.</p> <p>The blond nodded. “I had to. I came here to check on Brice and found her ready to call the police because first Nolan had disappeared and then you had. I had to think of something to keep her quiet, and the only thing I could think of was the truth. I’m a lousy agent,” he added grinning.</p> <p>Lors nodded and bit his lower lip. “How do things stand now?” He asked.</p> <p>“Not too bad,” Cartwell told him. “I’ve made arrangements to have the wrecked ship hauled out of the area for study. This will be hush-hush for awhile, then left to dissolve of itself. Everyone will forget it...”</p> <p>“What about Brice?”</p> <p>Cartwell pursed his lips. “That was a rough break, but unavoidable. We can cover up by saying that he was searching the wooded area with the rescue squads and apparently became lost. After searching and finding nothing, we can let the people draw their own conclusions.”</p> <p>“Risky,” Lors told him.</p> <p>“It’ll work, unless you have a better idea.”</p> <p>Lors shook his head. “You can handle things down here, Cartwell. I have my own problems up there.” He pointed at the ceiling to indicate the starship. “And I’d better get Danson’s uniform off and move.”</p> <p>Beth caught has arm. “Let him keep it, Lors. It won’t get into the wrong hands. I promise.”</p> <p>Lors looked at Cartwell, who nodded. “Let them have it,” he said. “They’re on our side anyhow.”</p> <p><SPAN name="p160" id="p160"></SPAN><span class="pagenum"><span class="ns">[p</span>160<span class="ns">]<br /></span></span>“All right.” He paused. “I’ll be going...”</p> <p>Beth linked her arm in his. “I’d like to walk to the ship with you.”</p> <p>“I’d like that.”</p> <p>He grinned at Cartwell and led her outside into the afternoon sunlight. They didn’t speak until they reached the small clearing where the scout ship waited for them. Then Beth pulled his head down and kissed him.</p> <p>“Good-by<!-- TN: original reads 'Goodby' -->, Lors,” she whispered.</p> <p>“I’ll come back, Beth, I’ll come back. One of these days both our people will be friends and we’ll meet again.”</p> <p>“I hope so.”</p> <p>He glanced up at the sky and saw two of the scout ships flashing about, high above the clouds. “My escort,” he told her grinning.</p> <p>“You’ll have trouble...”</p> <p>He kissed her lightly on the mouth. “No. I’ll marry the Commander’s daughter and it’ll all be okay.”</p> <p>“Is she beautiful?”</p> <p>“Yes.” He caught the sudden flash of womanly hurt rise in her eyes and smiled. “Almost as beautiful as you.”</p> <p>He kissed her lightly again and leaped to the cockpit of the scout ship. He motioned her away from the blast area and eased the ship up above the trees. She waved to him and looked very small among the trees. He lifted a hand to her, then swung the ship upward, slamming the throttle forward to head back to the starship.</p> <p>And Jela.</p> <p class="finis"><br />THE END</p> </div>
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