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The Pause Button

By Robert W. Prescott


Robert W. Prescott on Smashwords

The Pause Button

Copyright © 2018 by Robert W. Prescott

ISBN # 9780463018507

Updated 01/10/2019

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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions or the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Your support and respect for the property of this author are appreciated.

I hope you enjoy the story and perhaps can relate to one of its characters, if only for a short while.

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Chapter One

The spacecraft rapidly sped away from the third planet in the star system and was about to initiate a space-time tunnel, known to some as a ‘wormhole.’ Once inside the tunnel, the craft would easily surpass the speed of light by several times.

The Science Officer always enjoyed passing by this gaseous giant and especially one of its larger moons, one of seventy-nine that circled the banded planet. It was known to some as Europa. He smiled as it passed across the screen.

The scientist looked down at the liquid-crystal device in his hand as he made his entry:

Now leaving the implant site --- I have successfully planted Artifact Number δ╬Ç into Planet ╒Ѩ╒≡ (known in this system as Earth) just below its surface. I will return in three weeks (1220 Earth-years) to retrieve it, interpret the data and correct/reverse any time/space changes that have been introduced. End Entry.”

Chapter Two

Jared O’Brien was attracted to the girl the moment he had laid eyes on her in class. And now she stood in front of him, an immobile living statue, oblivious to his presence. She was a stunning beauty with sparkling dark green eyes. His hand trembled as he reached up and took a lock of her lustrous hair between his fingers. He was close enough to smell the faint fragrance of green apple shampoo. He still found it difficult to believe he had frozen her like this with just one touch.

He glided the back of his fingers across the rim of her ear and down her neck feeling the softness of her skin. Her eyes were closed, unseeing as he ran a fingertip across her full pink lips. Jared wondered what it would feel like for his lips to touch hers. At once he placed his mouth on hers and enjoyed the soft, pliant texture of her unresponsive kiss.

The girl was warm, and he knew she was still alive but had to listen for a heartbeat as if to reassure himself. He placed his ear on her chest below the collarbone and heard a definite rhythm and felt the softness of the tops of her breasts. . .

One Week Earlier

Jared sat on the dirt at the bottom of the archeological site and picked up the odd object that, with plenty of effort, he had just excavated. What a weird thing to find at this dig, he thought. Instead of a piece of dinosaur bone that he and his college class had been searching for, it looked like a hefty metallic object encrusted with clay and earth. He rubbed his thumbs over it and loosened some of the dirt from the surface. What he could see of the metal was untarnished. The more he rubbed, the more he realized – Holy crap, this has got to be gold! In his excitement, he glanced over at the rest of his group some thirty yards away about to yell at them but decided to postpone sharing the news of his find for the time being. What if there’s more of this?

He began brushing away what would loosen with the small whisk he carried. Being mostly unsuccessful, he picked up first a small pointed hand trowel, then a hard wooden probe to break through the stubborn crust that covered part of his find. With great care, he cracked the hardened dirt from the top. To his surprise, the layer broke away almost cleanly. He found what appeared to be a lid in place somewhat like a woman’s purse make-up mirror. He noticed strange, ornate symbols inscribed on the top, but he couldn’t make out any details because of the tenacious dust that still clung to it.

He used a camel-hair brush to clean off the loosened dust and debris that remained. The symbols inscribed on the top surface were completely foreign to him. He knew enough from his studies to recognize hieroglyphics and even the more ancient Aramaic characters, though he couldn’t fully read those languages. He realized these symbols were neither.

Jared could see the edge of the lid where it touched the body of the object forming an apparent perfect seal. He wondered if it were possible to open it now to see what was inside or wait to get it back to the lab under more controlled conditions. His curiosity was too much. Lacking an appropriate tool such as a scalpel blade, he slipped the edge of his thumbnail under the lid and pried upward. It popped open with some difficulty.

Inside was a beautiful pale blue gemstone lodged within a depression in the center of the, what was this, a medallion of sorts? It was crystal clear and brilliant except for having a slight bluish coloration, with expertly carved facets all around. It reminded him of a flawless aquamarine stone.

How is it possible that some long lost civilization had the expertise to cut and polish such perfect facets on the sides of this gem; or even have the proper tools? The stone was spectacular.

The gem appeared affixed to the depression since it showed no movement when he first opened the small lid. He reached in to check it and felt a sharp electrical sting on his finger, much like touching an open break in an electrical wire.

OWW!” Jared yanked his hand away, rubbing his fingers together. What the hell? What was that, static electricity? There had been a strange vibration in the air around him at the same time, but he ignored it. Now he wondered if there was any danger involved in continuing, after all, it had just stung his finger. This thing was still such a mystery. He knew it was time to show the professor.

He used a small cloth hand towel from his kit and picked up the medallion to carry it to the group. The others usually kept up a noisy running banter between them as they worked, but now they had gone quiet. He turned to look at the group and noticed something strange—there was no movement. They seemed to be still and no longer animated like before. He saw no digging, brushing, or talking. As he approached, he noticed they were as if frozen.

Hey, what’s going on here, echoed inside his head?

Chapter Three

“Hey, guys?” As he got closer to the small group, the hair on the back of his neck started to stand up with every step he took. Each person was like a human statue, unmoving, with eyes open, and mouth and lips parted in mid-speech.

“Hello? Guys? Professor?” He took a few steps closer. “What’s the mat…?” He reached for the professor’s shoulder and felt it give, like regular cloth and flesh underneath and gasped.

“What is going on here?” he whispered to himself. He spun around, looking to see who was responsible for this elaborate joke on him. He looked at the group again. Their eyes were open and unblinking—UNBLINKING! Nobody could hold their eyes open that long. Then all at once they slowly closed their eyes in unison but remained immobile. Now they looked like they were all asleep. What the hell?

He backed up abruptly to get away from this impossible absurdity and tripped, falling to the ground. Half-stunned he sat there looking around while pondering. His group was the only one here. What? Had they just been zapped with an accidental discharge of Electro-Magnetic Pulse from a weaponized defense satellite? But why was he not affected? He wondered. No. It wasn’t an EMP; that’s science fiction stuff. The more he stared at his frozen class, the more ludicrous it became.

Am I losing my mind? He didn’t do drugs, but maybe some jerk had slipped him some weird pyscho drug meant as a frat hazing prank? No, he had only been drinking water from a brand new bottle. His butt hurt where he landed a few minutes ago. He felt pain there, so he was lucid, and not dreaming.

Jared got up and walked a big circle around his group, keeping a distance as if he could catch what was ailing his friends. Then he wondered in his head, What about the rest of the people on campus? He had to go back and check them out. He walked away to where he left his car behind the excavation site. It was still there. He kept doubting his sanity.

Now let’s find out about the rest of the student body. The car cranked up so he figured an EMP should have knocked out the electrical system.

Okay, the car runs, so, that wasn’t it for sure.

He drove to the main campus and nearly ran into a tree in shock. People were everywhere as expected, but they stood frozen in mid-stride like his class at the dig. Cars stood in the street as if they had just stopped to chat across from each other.

Then his jaw dropped open: a football and frisbee hovered in mid-flight above his head. He stopped to stare at the floating objects which seem to defy the laws of physics. It was a surreal scene of human statues and activities. Like he had hit the PAUSE button on a video.

Jared got out to look at the frozen students. They all looked the same as his class. He spotted Ashlee Hartwell, a stunning girl he had the hots for from one of his classes, standing next to another girl.

What a beautiful statue SHE makes, he thought. She had her eyelids closed like all the rest. On an impulse, he walked up stood in front of her with no effect. He picked up strands of her luxuriant hair before placing the back of his hand on the side of her face ─ to see what would happen.

No response! Her skin is warm and soft! THESE FROZEN STATUES ARE STILL ALIVE! He put his ear up to her mouth to listen. Yes, she’s breathing. He also heard a slow heartbeat as he put his ear to her chest.

At once he realized his face was indenting into the softness of her breasts as his own heart raced at the accidental contact — his nostrils filled with her scent making Jared dizzy. He pulled away.

He looked up into her face expecting a reaction. There was none. He moved his head the few inches forward and on a whim placed his lips on hers. They were warm and luscious, but she didn’t kiss back. It took a little bit of the thrill out of it. But still, he had just kissed the gorgeous babe he had been fantasizing about all semester.

Wait! I gotta stop this. It’ll make me crazy! He looked around at all the human statues; CRAZIER, I mean! He realized it was too much to process with all that had happened up to now. He needed time to think; he reluctantly left Ashlee while he could still think straight.

He sat in his car rubbing his temples trying to figure out what to do next. What exactly has happened? What brought this on? He replayed in his mind when he last remembered that everything was normal.

Okay . . . I was at the dig! It was right after I found that stupid…Then the realization hit him.

The metallic object! It all started when I touched that blue gem inside the medallion! He felt the slight bulge in his pocket where he had stashed the cloth-wrapped medallion. He reached in now and withdrew the packet.

Did the gem inside do something? Is it bewitched or something? No, that’s a stupid thought! He unfolded the little towel and stared at the medallion. He remembered it was when he touched the inside that things changed.

If I touch it again, would things go back to how they were, or get worse?

He had to try. He couldn’t live in a world of mannequins, even if they were warm and breathing and … beautiful. Thoughts of Ashlee ran through his mind uninvited. Jared again pried open the lid of the object to expose the blue gem. He stared at it for a long time, hesitating.

Oh, hell, what have I got to lose!

He felt that same sting as before, along with a sensation of pressure against his eardrums, and then a pop, all within half a second. He found himself sitting on the dirt in the same excavation site he had been earlier with the medallion open. He stood up, and there were the professor and his group working away as if nothing unusual had happened.

So, it looks like I go back to where I started. He had stumbled on to some weird, surreal time-switch of some sort.

Carefully closing and stashing it in his pocket, Jared walked over to them. "Hey, guys. Anybody, um, find anything interesting?"

"Naw," said Phillip, one of the students. “Just a bunch of dirt like always."

"Be patient, gentlemen…and ladies," said Professor Quinn. "You know these things take time. After all, some of these artifacts have been 'patiently' waiting for us to dig them up for thousands of years. Perhaps even millions."

Phillip rolled his eyes when the Professor was looking down.

"So, um, nothing new going on here, then?" Asked Jared.

"Just routine stuff, dude," chimed in Dak from the group.

“I found a piece of bone,” said Katie, with a proud smile. “At least I THINK it’s bone,” she said losing her smile.

“Aw, that was probably from some stray prehistoric mongrel dog that was eaten by a prehistoric predator,” added Phillip.

Nobody has a clue what has just happened to me. Wow!

Jared walked back to his hole in the ground to think it through. He looked at his watch and noticed around fifteen minutes had passed since he discovered the medallion. But it had felt like at least forty-five minutes.

Did I imagine it? Or hallucinate the lapse of time?

Having learned early on about the Scientific Method, he contemplated once more before touching the gem ─ then did it. He felt the familiar little sting on his finger again. His watch read 10:17 AM. He would keep track this time. He stood up out of his hole and saw once again his group sitting there motionless.

This is crazy! He wrapped the stone and placed it into his pocket again and got out of his hole. He needed to try something else; almost like an experiment.

He walked over to the frozen group. He pulled off the hats of those wearing them and tossed them on the ground. Then pulled out the professor's pens and markers from his shirt pocket and threw them into the hole at his feet in disarray. He balanced a flat rock on the head of one of the boys just for fun. Two girls in his group had ponytails; he undid them and threw their rubber bands on the ground.

Okay, that should do it. Let’s see what’ll happen.

He walked away from them and stood outside his excavation hole before reaching for the gem and touching it. In a blink of an eye, he was back sitting inside his hole again. He stood up and noticed his group still puttering around with what they were doing from the start. He glanced at his watch. It was 10:17 as it rolled to 10:18.

Incredible. It had taken Jared a good fifteen minutes to walk around and disrupt his friends’ hats and such, yet less than a minute had passed! The professor’s markers were not on the dirt but back into his shirt pocket; hats back on; ponytails intact.

The gemthis gadget I found—must be a ‘toggle switch’ or Cosmic Pause Button of sorts that manipulates time. But wait, how can that be? Time is fixed. You can’t stop it at will! You simply cannot travel back and forth in time or move it in any way. Or so Jared was taught as a science major and always believed it. Also, he couldn’t fathom where a gadget like this, under about a thousand years of dirt, could have come from, or what level of technology could have created it and left it here. He knew he would have to experiment some more.

It occurred to him that every time he touched the gem to unfreeze time he ended up back in his hole at the dig. He wondered if the location where he first touched the gem affected where he returned. He stood and walked away from his hole and walked to his car. Inside he took out the gem and touched it, then noted the time on his watch. He drove back to the campus and was already seeing the frozen people. Now he knew that only a minute or two had passed since he was first here. Most people were in almost the same positions he remembered, as was Ashlee.

Jared took the time now to leave his car and go admire Ashlee Hartwell. She was in one of Jared’s classes and had only occasionally glanced at him.

I guess she barely knows I exist! Ashlee had green eyes, beautiful complexion, flawless skinas little of her skin as he had seen of itand long glowing light auburn hair with golden highlights. Her figure was stunning at about 5 feet 6 inches. She was gorgeous. He only had been able to admire her surreptitiously from a few desks behind in class.

Walking the short distance, he now stood in front of Ashlee, or at least a living motionless statue of her. He reached up and played with her lustrous auburn hair, feeling its softness between his fingers and finding it hard to believe he could do this. He dared to move upward. His hand caressed the back of her neck under her hair, and with his other hand, he gently turned her head toward him.

Hmm, I can move her with my hand! On a whim, he placed his mouth on hers and enjoyed her luscious full lips, running the tip of his tongue across them. The kiss became more heated as he found his hand instinctively on one breast caressing it through her top for a few minutes.

He had to know what Ashlee felt like without the material interfering, so Jared placed his hand on her waist while still kissing her. He knew she was braless as his hand glided upward. Her skin was cool and silky, and the first contact with her bare breast sent chills through him. She was soft and firm at the same time, and oh-so-exquisite. As he caressed all over, her little bud firmed up and pointed outward.

WHAT? Did she just now respond to my touch? He pulled away, alarmed that she somehow knew and was waking up. He looked at her face for a reaction. There was none; no acknowledgment or recognition, but her body had without a doubt responded to his touch.

Very interesting! He had to see how far this could go as he gently lifted the edge of her top.

He exposed one breast and again got chills at the beauty he found there. Ashlee’s skin was smooth, creamy, and except for one tiny freckle to the side, flawless. Her breast was perfectly sized and shaped with a pale pink areola and a small dainty bud at its tip. He caressed her for many minutes watching the bud turn hard and point outward, knowing now she had no awareness.

He couldn’t resist and went further. He lowered his face and placed his mouth on her breast. It was succulent. His tongue played with her nipple as it firmed up into a pebble. His heartbeat was pounding in his throat. At once he felt a strong stirring between his legs. I better quit this. There’s no cold shower out here for me!

After lowering her top, he wobbled a few steps away from Ashlee trying to clear his head and touched the gem. Again he found himself inside his car near the dig where he first touched it. He shook his head still having difficulty getting over how heated up Ashlee had gotten him; and how difficult it was absorbing all of this at the same time.

He drove back to the college, parked and began walking back toward where he had left Ashlee. As he deliberately came across her line of sight, their eyes accidentally met. Within a fraction of a second, he noticed her eyebrows flickered upward; almost like a flinch.

OH NO, SHE KNOWS WHAT I DID! Then at once, she furrowed her forehead as if wondering what just happened, and went back to talking with a friend. He noticed her folding her arms and rubbing them as if she had gotten a momentary chill.

Jared relaxed seeing all was well. He added that odd reaction to the rest of his mental notes and would ponder them later. He wondered if there was some residual memory that was left behind by his touching Ashlee while she was in the ‘frozen’ state. Crap! I wish I had majored in Physics and not Archaeology! Jared realized that the only way he could learn the ins and outs of this Pause Button thingas he started calling itwas to keep on experimenting; to keep on trying out different scenarios.

Chapter Four

His dorm room was quiet ever since this roommate dropped out of school last month, so he was able to think and plan on how to go about testing the limits of this Pause Button without interruption. He created a list of things to try out. Earlier he had gone to the Office of the Registrar during one of the times he froze everybody and found out all they had on beautiful Ashlee Hartwell.

The next day he watched Ashlee from a few seats behind and smiled to himself knowing how beautiful she was under that soft looking sweater she was wearing. To his shock, she turned around to look at Jared at the end of class.

“Hey, Jared,” she said coming up to him and beaming her brilliant smile.

His heart jumped into his throat! “Hey, Ashlee.” He hoped she didn’t notice the sudden alarm on his face.

“So, what’s your major? I’m headed to be a secondary education school teacher.”

I’m a boner, uh… I mean bone digger. Good Grief, Jared!. You know, Archaeology.”

“Ha! Never heard it put that way. That’s cool. I like Archaeology.”

“You don’t think it’s dull? Like a nerdy subject?”

No. Not at all,” she chuckled. “You gotta be pretty sharp to get into that.” She paused and looked into his eyes. “I, uh, don’t know why I haven’t spoken to you very much in the past. You seem like a nice guy.”

My parents seem to think so,” he said with his pale humor. She gave a cute giggle and looked down as if self-conscious.

“Hey, Ashlee, would you like to go get some lunch? I have a car here, and I know a great Deli in town with lots of choices.”

Um, sure, why not. I’ve got three hours free before my next class.”

“Good, ‘cause I’m through for the day.”

Jared and Ashlee ate slowly and used up almost all of her break learning about each other: where they grew up, things they enjoyed, favorite music, favorite foods, most embarrassing moments, and such.

Before they got up, Ashlee got quiet. “You know, I just realized what a good time I’m having with you. Jared, I feel so bad now after having spent all this time with you, that I...”

What? That I'm such terrible company,” I chided.

No, silly; the opposite. Why haven’t we done this before?

“I…I don’t know; my fault­­—too shy, I guess,” was all he could say.

Being with you makes me feel so comfortableas if we’ve known each other for a while.”

“Uh, comfortable? You mean like an old pair of shoes?”

TeeHee,” came her cute giggle. “You’re funny. I don’t know why but, for some reason, I feel drawn to you, like there’s a connection!”

He stayed quiet as his cheeks colored.

“You don’t think we met sometime in the past, maybe at a party, and just forgot?”

I could…” He let out a breath. “I could NEVER forget meeting you before,” he said truthfully almost to himself. He noticed she heard by her cute little blush. “No, I’m pretty sure we haven’t met before coming here,” he added still being truthful.

Okay. I was just curious.” She seemed to linger in front of him.

Ashlee, I’ve…” He let out a held breath. “You know, I’ve wanted to talk to you since I saw you the first time in class.”

What? Why didn’t you?”

“Um, well, you’re so beautiful that I thought you were out of my league and wouldn’t be interested in someone like me.”

Oh…?” Taken by surprise, her face colored. “Well thank you, but . . . You thought I …? THAT’S what you thought?”. She leaned closer to Jared’s face and emphatically whispered, “YOU – THOUGHT – WRONG!” and gave him a quick kiss on the lips, surprising herself and him.

Oh, s-sorry, I . . .” After looking deeply into his eyes for the longest time and creasing her forehead, she got up from the table. He followed, his heart racing from the unexpected kiss.

They walked slowly back to the car in silence and just sat until she spoke again as if trying to change the subject. “That Deli was wonderful. Good choice, Jared. We’ve gotta do this again.”

“Yes, gotta do it again!” he repeated awkwardly. “Ashlee, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” she answered softly.

“Back there just now, when you gave me that little kiss.”

Oops. Kinda forward of me wasn’t it?” Her face colored again.

No, not at all! But, it looked like something ran through your mind afterward.”

Oh, that. You’re observant! I don’t know what came over me ─ I NEVER behave like that. Well, it’s just that I got a strange sensation like that kiss felt familiar. You know, that same issue of thinking we’ve known each other before.”

Jared stared at her wide-eyed not knowing what to say.

“But since we’ve never kissed before, I guess I imagined it.”

You know, that was the best part of lunch for me.” He looked again into her beautiful eyes.

She grinned and looked down still embarrassed by her impulsive move.

They chatted a while longer before stopping and sat in silence for a few minutes. “Hey, speaking of lunch, thank you for bringing me here. You know, we were supposed to have gone ‘Dutch.' You broke the rules of propriety,” she said flashing her beautiful smile.

“I enjoyed breaking THAT rule. It was my pleasure, Ashlee,” he said smiling back at her. Jared started the car and drove her back to the college. Before she got out, Ashlee put her hand on his arm.

Wait,” she whispered. Jared turned to look at her. She looked deeply into his eyes again and knitted her brow like she was pondering on something, then leaned in for a kiss. The kiss started sweetly then deepened as it got hotter, lasting for many wonderful minutes.

Oh, my,” he heard her whisper as she pulled away glassy-eyed reaching for the door handle. “Did you put something in my soda?”

Huh? NO, never. Um, see you tomorrow?” he asked breathlessly.

Y…yes. Tomorrow!” and rushed away. He was glad to be sitting down.

Chapter Five

Jared decided he wanted to get to know more about Ashlee. It was time to visit her place. That evening he drove to her house rather late. He had learned she lived on the second floor with her roommates and could see the lights coming through the windows. There was an outside staircase on the side of the house that went to their private entrance at the side of the house. The door had a light above it. He was sure they kept the door locked and wished he had a key to her place. Then an idea occurred to him.

Most college roomies hide a key somewhere outside their door. More often than not one roommate would forget their key and be left locked out. He had to check it out but could only do it while everybody was in ‘Pause’ mode. He unwrapped the stone and touched it from his car and walked toward the house.

At the top of the stairs, he paused to make sure the blue gem was still working. Putting his ear to the door, he didn’t hear any activity. Now, he started looking for a hidden key. He felt at the top of the door jam, then under the welcome mat without success. There were three small flower pots nearby. He found the key hidden under the middle pot.

Once inside he saw there were three bedrooms and one bath. Each bedroom door was open, and a girl occupied each of two of them. Jared could not find Ashlee. The bathroom door was ajar, and he could see there was someone inside. He found her standing with a large towel wrapped around her and in the process of combing her hair in front of the mirror. She had just finished showering and looked adorable with her damp hair.

Jared kissed her bare shoulder and noticed she smelled of mouth-watering green apples. He continued giving her slow little kisses along her shoulder to her neck but now needed to unveil the package. He reached around to the front and loosened her towel. He caught it before it dropped to the floor and draped it over his shoulder. The reflection of her total nakedness in the mirror took away his breath.

Ashlee was beautiful beyond description. Her breasts were creamy, flawless, upright, with pale pink tips, andjust gorgeous. He cupped both breasts from behind, gently kneading and caressing them feeling both nipples firm up. That was no longer surprising. His hands glided down over her hips and belly and stopped at the demur trim fluff between her legs. By now his erection was pushing against his shorts.

He played with the softness down there for a few minutes before finding her cleft. Doing this gave him chills of excitement. He glided up and down the warmness of her inner folds that barely peeked out and accented the essence of her femininity. Jared was sorry she lacked the extra moisture to slide in between them that would be there had they been making out. She was exquisite.

He moved around to the front and enclosed his mouth on one of her breasts. He couldn’t help but moan as he caressed her with his mouth and tongue. Jared wished he could hear Ashlee’s moan along with his. He played with her erect little bud then went back to sliding his mouth up and down her breast ice-cream-cone-style. He moved to the other one and found it to be just as delicious. He could do this all day long.

He needed to kiss her even though he knew Ashlee could not reciprocate. He found her lips already parted as he placed his mouth on hers. His kiss moved her lips around, almost feeling like she was participating. As he got more into the kiss, his hand caressed and kneaded one of her breasts. His kiss got heated, and his hand naturally went down to between her thighs.

His finger found the warm cleft and stroked up and down in slow motion. To his surprise, now, moisture was there, allowing his finger to slide within. He was sure this response was automatic, much like that of the erect nipple had been when he first touched her. He caressed up and down the slippery vestibule for many minutes and could almost swear he felt her tongue move against his. It seemed like Ashlee’s body was responding as was evident from the amount of moisture. She was generously wet as his finger slid inside her. Thankfully, she was not a virgin albeit snug.

Jared's heart was pounding with emotion as was his erection. She was ready for intercourse, and here they both were, standing up in the bathroom. But could they really make love, while she was in her frozen state? Perhaps if he could carry her to bed; or, what if somehow he could coax her body to walk? It was worth a try. If she began to tip over, he would catch her and carry her the rest of the way.

He placed his hands at her armpits from behind and began rotating her body. At first, she only twisted, when suddenly one foot came forward as he shifted her weight; then the next, and another. He was walking her toward her bedroom like a lifesize marionette, much to his surprise. Once at the edge of her bed, he rotated her again and slowly laid her back. He picked up her legs and swiveled her until she was lying back as if asleep. Again Jared was able to admire the totality of her beauty. She was incredible. On a whim, he spoke to her as if she could respond.

Ashlee, I’m so taken by you. Would you like to um, make love with me?” After a minute of awkward silence, he said, “Okay, I’ll take that as a ‘Yes.’” He removed his clothes and moved her legs apart. He enclosed one breast in his mouth one more time and gently sucked and played before climbing between her legs. He couldn’t believe this was happening.

He took his penis in hand and slid up and down her wet vestibule to moisten the head before entering her. He got chills from how exquisite the sensation felt. He stroked slowly at first until the wetness allowed him to penetrate to the fullest. She was so hot and snug and slippery it almost made him dizzy with excitement. He was sure he imagined her hips rotating forward. His thrusts were slow and gentle—he wanted to last as long as possible and savor this incredible experience since the bathroom foreplay had gotten him fairly well heated.

He moved his hand to between their bodies and found her little button with his thumb. He made wide circles around it feeling it firm up. Her hips rotated forward toward him confirming that he had not imagined it earlier. Her breathing was coming more rapidly the more he played with her. He kept his stroking in and out as he stimulated her clitoris. After a few more minutes, her hips rose up to meet his thrusts. Her breathing became frantic as a low moan came from her throat. Her body gave a few jerks with a few more noises from her mouth before she seemed to settle back down.

Ashlee had just had an orgasm! Or, more precisely, her BODY just had an orgasm! This realization tipped him over the edge as he came along with each thrust in a sweet climax of his own. He prolonged his orgasm with chills running up and down his spine as he kept thrusting now in slow motion. Supporting his weight on his elbows, he laid against her body marveling at the definite little aftershocks coming from her vagina around his organ. How could she be responding to sex in her present catatonic state? He wondered.

In a few minutes, Jared reluctantly withdrew from her and rested next to her. He looked at her at length, and said, “Ashlee, I’m in love with you. No, not just your body, which is beautiful beyond description, but with your personality, your mind, your hair, your voice…” He paused sadly. “I know you can’t hear me, but I just needed to tell you that out loud anyway.”

He rested against her, one hand cupping a breast, for almost an hour before rising and getting dressed. He leaned over the ‘sleeping’ goddess that was Ashlee and kissed her deeply. Again he felt her tongue respond and perhaps her lips as well. He admired her a few minutes before beginning to walk her back to the bathroom, then stopped.

Wait…the toggle switch! He remembered how the Pause Button worked before. Reaching into his pocket and touching the gem he heard the Pop! At once he was back in his car and was sure Ashlee was standing in front of the mirror again.

He battled with the mixed emotions he was feeling. He wanted Ashlee’s mind to have shared in the experience of their love-making. He wanted to tell her how he felt to her face, but that would be ludicrous. She would think he was out of his mind and probably a pervert of some kind. Talking to Ashlee the next day was going to be awkward for Jared having shared with her what happened tonight.

Chapter Six

When Jared got to class the next day, Ashlee was already there. She heard him arrive and turned. She beamed her brilliant smile at him and said, “Good morning.”

“Hey, back.” He noticed she stared at him for a moment then her cheeks colored pink and her brows knotted before whipping her head back forward. He thought that was odd behavior. It was he who should have reacted to her with a blush. It was he who had shared so much with her and had so much to tell her—but couldn’t.

How would I even begin to explain how much in love I am with her?

After class, she lingered at her desk as Jared walked over. “Hey, Ashlee. Are you okay? Is something the matter?”

She looked up at him then quickly looked away again. “I think I’m coming down with something. I keep getting these odd feelings inside. Maybe it’s a virus or maybe, you know, female hormones.”

“Oh, um. Yes, I suppose. Well, what are you feeling? I had the flu last year, and it was awful.”

“No, it’s not like that,” she said softly.

“Here, let’s go sit under the big oak tree outside and talk.” He took her hand in his, and at once she gasped and looked wide-eyed at Jared.

“What, Ashlee. What is it? Did I hurt you?”

“No.” She paused. “On the contrary. Touching you felt ─ Um, let’s sit outside.” They found a bench under a grandiose oak tree for which the college was famous. He dusted the debris off before she sat. She smiled at his gallant gesture. At first, they sat in silence with hardly anyone around anymore.

Ashlee. What happened a few minutes ago when I took your hand, and you reacted. Was that too presumptuous of me?”

No, not at all. When you touched me, it gave me a strange sensation, a good one. Too good, actually!” she mumbled the last words. She creased her forehead trying to figure out her feelings. He noticed her eyes becoming dilated, and he could see her nipples firm up underneath her top.

Jared sighed audibly. He tried not to notice the front of her blouse.

She wasn’t looking at his face and continued. “It’s the same feeling I got when I, um, impulsively kissed you the other day. Only ten times more intense. Like, my heart races and my skin gets flushed, and my breathing gets quicker—that’s why I thought it might be a bug.”

“Ashlee, that sort of sounds more like, you know… you’re in LOVE!”

“Love? But I don’t have a boyfriend. And . . .You and I ─ well, we don’t know enough about each other to fall in love! Do we?”

“I think we’ve made up for lost time with all our talking and being together. I feel like I know you so well now. Maybe you don’t feel the same as…” Jared whispered as he squeezed her hand. He found her staring deeply into his eyes for many minutes before she turned away.

“Look at me; I’m shaking.” She stared at him again. “And now I want to kiss you really bad.”

“You do? Oh, Ashlee. Then I can tell you--- I confess I have fallen for you in a way I can’t explain! Kissing you right now sounds wonderful!” He tentatively moved toward her and placed his mouth on hers. At once she hungrily kissed him back. After minutes of making out, she came away panting.

“WHEW! Did you put drugs in my water, or something?” she said breathlessly.

“I don’t do drugs ─ on myself or drug girls I’m falling in love with.”

“I don’t know what it is but…” She put her hand on her stomach for a moment. She looked at her watch, seemed to have made a decision and said. “Jared, can we go for a ride in your car?” They walked rapidly to where he was parked. “Now, drive, and I’ll tell you where to go.” He obliged without a word.

To his surprise, they ended up at her house. They ran up the stairs and stopped at the landing.

She looked down at the flower pots then at him. “Okay, turn around.”

“What?” He guessed she wanted her hiding place for the key that he wasn't supposed to know about to remain a secret.

“Yes, that IS kinda stupid. I trust you.” She lifted the middle flower pot and picked up a key. “I left my keys at the college since we sort of left in a hurry.” She gave him a knowing grin and opened the door.

“I promise to keep your hiding place a secret.” Once inside she looked into the other two rooms to make sure they were alone and grabbed his hand.

This is my room,” she said as she pulled him inside. She wrapped a pink ribbon around her doorknob and locked her door. She turned then locked lips with him, kissing fiercely. She pulled away breathlessly and said, “I don’t believe what I’m doing, or what I’m about to say but —this is so not me— I just don’t do this! Not EVER!”

She took a deep breath and said, “Jared, if you don’t make…” She took a deep breath and put her hand on her stomach. “If you don’t make love to me right now, I think I will die!”

“What?” It took a few seconds for that to sink into Jared before they started tearing off their clothes. They pressed into each other naked while still standing up before they eased into the bed. He started giving her little kisses down her neck ending at her breast. He put his mouth on her, and she gasped reaching for his erection. His tongue played with her little firm bud causing her to squirm and make little noises of delight all the while trying not to think about Ashlee’s hand on him.

Jared eased his body on top of Ashlee supporting his weight on his elbow. She grasped his firm manhood again and slid the tip up and down her wet labia finally ending up at her opening.

I want to feel you inside me, Jared. Please,” she said in a raspy whisper. He placed his mouth on hers and slowly lowered himself into her. A low moan came from Ashlee’s throat. He lovingly slid in and out of her snug slippery love canal. She had gotten so heated from their making out she didn’t need foreplay. She made small noises every time he penetrated.

She became more heated and started raising her hips to meet each of his thrusts. He raised his hips a few inches and let her move up and down on him to her delight. She liked doing all the thrusting, but he was struggling to keep his control as she became more frantic with her movements. Then she raised high with a loud moan and stopped breathing as she orgasmed around him. She opened her mouth as if in a silent scream as he started thrusting fiercely. She pressed herself into him prolonging her climax. At once he came and came, his organ jerking until he could no more. They rested against each other, enjoying the after-glow of their lovemaking.

“Oh, wow… oh, my goodness,” she said between quivery breaths.

“Yeah, me too. Ashlee that felt so right!”

Yes, it did, didn’t it!” furrowing her brow wondering why. She felt Jared begin to relax as she tightened herself to keep him inside.

“Baby, here, rest on top of me for a while,” Jared whispered. “I don’t want to squash you.” He put his arms around her body and rolled over. She landed on top of him with a surprised smile.

“Hmmm. Nice. I like this.” Again she rubbed herself against him, enjoying the feel of his naked skin against hers. He felt her warm moisture against his belly and got chills.

“Jared. I can’t believe it took us this long to discover each other. How blind I was!”

“Yeah, look how much we have missed out. But, I discovered you the first day of class.”

“See? I told you how sharp you are.” They giggled as they kissed deeply. In a minute, she felt him harden against her thigh. “Hmmm…hello…again . . .”

It was then that the subtle rumble occurred. It was as the beginning of a distant earthquake that grew. Then there was pressure against their eardrums, and at once a blackness enveloped them. . .

Jared sat on the dirt at the bottom of the archeological site and picked up the odd object that, with plenty of effort, he had just excavated. What a weird thing to find at this dig, he thought. A medallion? Wait, it’s a buckle. As he cleaned it, he was able to see more detail. It’s a belt buckle from the Civil War! Well, hot dog . . .

Chapter Seven

The craft, flying under stealth mode, had approached the blue planet with its cloudy white swirls ─ the planet called Earth ─ undetected by local surveillance systems. The Science Officer now surveyed the topography and located the implant. He noted that it had been successfully discovered after some 1200 Earth-years, taken out of the ground, and activated by human touch as he had hoped. He began his log entry:

I have located Artifact Number ┴δ╬Ç. I will retrieve and interpret the data recorded on it, and repair any time/space errors initiated by the implant to restore the planet to its original timeline. To the best of my knowledge, the inhabitants should not experience any after-effects, nor perceive any differences to their remembered history. The experiment appears to be successful. END ENTRY

Chapter Eight

Jared entered the classroom and immediately notice how dazzling that girl on the front row, Ashlee Hartwell, was looking today. He had watched her before, but today she was taking all of his attention.

What a shame we have hardly ever spoken to each other. And she NEVER notices me, he mulled.

A pen rolled off her desk. Jared instinctively leaned down to pick it up at the same time she did, and their fingers touched.

At once he felt a subtle internal jolt, as she squealed. She froze and blushed crimson for no apparent reason while she stared at him.

“Yikes! What was that, static electri . . .?” He stopped and looked at the girl, unable to pull his eyes away. A long moment passed before he looked at their hands. He found their fingers not just touching but oddly entwined with each others’.

“OH….OH…! Sorry, I . . .” she exclaimed as she pulled away with embarrassment. “I don’t know what . . .”

“Yes, that was weird,” he said.

“Jared, is it?”

“And you’re Ashlee, right?”

“Yes. I just got this funny feeling like we . . . like you and I . . .” She paused to stare again. He noticed her eyes becoming dilated and her face colored again. “Did we know each other in high school?”

“No, I don’t think so. But, I just got that same feeling. Maybe we met at a party somewhere?”

“Maybe that’s it.”

“Want to go to lunch and explore it some?”

“Sure, why not. I, um, kind of feel comfortable with you, for some reason . . .”

The End

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