I Cannot Help But to be Taken by You

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Baby, baby

Baby don't leave me

Ooh, please don't leave me

All by myself

– Diana Ross and the Supremes (Where Did Our Love Go?)

=/\=

In 2192, Malcolm Reed smiled as his wife got ready for bed. "You coming soon?" she asked.

"Soon," he said, "I just want to make a diary entry."

"Of course. I love you."

"Sleep well, Lili-Flower," he said, kissing her.

He went into another room in order to give her some peace. It was their son, Declan's, old room. There was a poster of his alma mater, Oxford University, drawn by Declan himself, a gifted artist. There was a tripartite portrait of Lili, Melissa and Leonora, too. Leonora was Melissa's lover, as she – Melissa – was bi. The other two women were also, in a way, mothers to Declan. He loved them and called them Mum half the time. As for the other children, Malcolm smiled to himself. They called him Dad even though he was only biologically responsible for Declan. It didn't matter. They were family.

"I never thought my life could be so full, and so rich," he whispered. Then, a bit louder, he said, "Computer, diary entry for May the twentieth of 2192."

"Working," answered the computer.

"Turn the volume down a tick, first," he said, "don't want to wake up Lili. Now, dictation mode."

"Working."

"This morning, we noticed a light in the sky and then a time ship arrived. We both recalled it was an energy wave, rather similar to what we had seen years ago, when a time traveler named Thomas Grant visited. We had thought it was him, but the traveler did not stop. So I am inclined to believe it was not he."

Malcolm paused for a moment to gather his thoughts. "Furthermore, the ship had an odd name – not the Jack Finney – but it was something rather like X-Cap. It was hard to read and we could not be certain. Melissa and Leonora came over and Lili slept in order to contact the mirror. She was able to see Mirror High Priestess Yimar and warn her. Yimar has apparently been involved with the manufacture of some illegal Constitution class ship parts. I fear the Empress will try to harm our old friend."

He shook his head. Some people never seemed to learn. He continued, "Melissa and Leonora very kindly planted tofflin root for us. It should be enough for our anniversary in five days. My understanding from Doctor Sanchez is that the roots can be brewed into a sort of tea," he smiled to himself, "and then the tea – which would be drunk by me – would assist me in a rather delicate matter. I'm glad I got Marie Patrice to come over for our anniversary, but I'm even more overjoyed that Leonora and Melissa will be putting her up, for on the night of the twenty-fifth, when Lili and are wed for ten wonderful years, I am going to attempt it. She says she doesn't mind even if it does not work at all, and I do appreciate her kindness, but I know she misses it, and I miss it as well. I will do my best, and the tofflin root should help, and we will make love."

=/\=

Lili slept.

She was capable of making dream contact with our universe and the mirror – that was what Malcolm was referring to in his diary entry.

Whenever she and Malcolm slept in the same bed, they dreamed together. His inabilities – he was, after all, nearly eighty years of age – were immaterial in their shared dreaming. They had continued with their fantasies together, often pretending to be far younger than they truly were. It was fun, and it was satisfying, but they both did miss in-person lovemaking.

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