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"Sherlock and Larie" JL pt.9

Mrs. Larie Grimes, Lieutenant Sherlock Grimes,
Posted on 202006.27
  Sherlock wasn’t sure about this.  It was unfamiliar to him and even though he knew he couldn’t get hurt, he didn’t want to test that.  He stripped a little more slowly and looked around the edge of the pool, looking for a place that seemed deep enough and jumped in, rather than dive.  He didn’t want to crack his head open on accident.
   Larie came up and watched Sherlock cautiously move around the pool.  She wondered about that and then saw him jump in. The pool was a good twenty feet deep, all around, it wasn’t a gradual shelf like with the great current.  Maybe he was just being careful because it was new to him. “This is a favorite play spot for the clans because the sand is warm and soft and you can swim afterwards.  Some of the most daring even try to play in the pool, but both partners have to be really strong swimmers for that.” She said as she tread water with her arms, her legs slowly kicking under her to keep her standing instead of floating.  “The rock is hollow and the water drains underground. It comes back up miles from here in the river, it never floods here.” She explained.
   Sherlock looked around him.  It was a beautiful and private spot, he could see why people liked to use it for sex.  The water was soft, probably a soda like chemical causing the soft water, maybe from the rock.  And it was warm, the waterfall would logically make the water cold, but it felt like a sun warmed swimming pool.  He stopped treading water for a moment and realized the water was buoyant, like it was salt heavy, but tasting the water it was sweet, not salty.  He smiled at Larie as she explained the pool to him. Then he was surprised when she took his hand and pulled him underwater. He had just enough time to fill his lungs and hold his breath.
   Larie grabbed Sherlock and dove deep into the pool and a tunnel far down near the bottom.  She guided him through the tunnel to the cave behind the waterfall. She giggled again as the surprise on his face.  “This is where we hide when the slave hunters come here looking for the unwary. They don’t know about this place, but as you can tell, we can see everything that happens at the pool from here.  Predators know we are here, but they don’t bother us. They prefer to go after the hunters, I guess offworld blood is better than Orion blood.” She giggled again.
  The water in the fall was clear and holes in the rock made it easy to see all the way around, even looking up to see if someone was standing at the top of the falls and looking down.  It seemed strange that those who made it their business to hunt Orions couldn’t or wouldn’t figure out that this cave existed. Sherlock thought the hunters were even bigger idiots than the thought before he saw this place.  There was even a place in the cave to sleep if those hiding here needed to spend the night. These Orions thought of everything.
  Then Larie was pulling Sherlock back out of the cave and tunnel and came up to the surface of the pool.  She lay on her back and just floated. It was so peaceful here, the sounds and smells of home, the warmth of the water, and Sherlock.  She was in heaven.
  Sherlock chuckled to himself.  He guessed their time in the cave was over and he decided to float with Larie.  He looked over and saw the bliss on Larie’s face and couldn’t help but smile, when she was unguarded like this, he could see her personality shining through the shyness and it made him care just a little more about her.
  Larie sighed and opened her eyes.  “Sherlock, look over there. You can see the top of the weeping tree.”  She pointed over her left shoulder. She had made herself a promise, she would be chosen first under the tree.  Biting her lip, she wondered if Sherlock would chose her under the tree.
  Sherlock looked where she was pointing and saw the top of an ancient and proud weeping birch.  It seemed out of place on this world, but it was how she described, tallest tree, graceful and majestic.  Maybe that was the word she had been looking for, Majestic. It made him feel good thinking she thought of him that way.  Then he spotted something in the crook of a nearby tree and frowned. It looked sort of like a jungle cat with mange, lizard like scales warred with fur on its body and it had spikes all along its spine and a long whip-like tail that ended in a barbed spearhead.  It was green with yellow stripes, a bright blue tongue, and icy yellow eyes. It was cute, but he supposed an adult version could be very frightening. Slowly, he swam to the edge of the pool and pulled himself out to go see this animal in the tree.
  Larie watched Sherlock and then saw the predator cub sitting in the tree.  “It isn’t shielded.” She said in surprise. Predators rarely went unshielded.  She followed Sherlock, ready to defend him if necessary from the cub, the venom and toxins from the cubs was just as deadly as that of the adults.  She was even more surprised when the cub allowed Sherlock to pet it. “That never happens.”
  Sherlock looked back at Larie and smiled.  “I told you, we can’t get hurt in here, there are safeties on to protect us.  I’m surprised there is even a predator here.”

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