"You should be certain, Alyssa", Doctor Franklin pressed, "that you want to go this route. Just getting rid of the dreams may not be the answer. There could be good reasons why you're having them. Your subconscious mind expressing thoughts that your conscious mind won't, for example. That's just one possibility."
Alyssa Col sighed theatrically. "I'm not here for a lecture, Hoyt", she insisted. "Can you do it, or can't you?"
Hoyt studied his lovely patient. As always, he was impressed by her rounded figure, her long slim legs, her sparkling eyes. When he'd first come to System Central, he'd thought about the possibility of linking up with her almost constantly. Only recently had his ardour cooled, because of her relationship with the Esmadean envoy Elisha and because of the discovery of some distractions of his own.
"Oh, I can give you as much uninterrupted sleep as you want", he assured. "But while that might cure a symptom, I can't be certain it would address the problem."
Alyssa was adamant. "Hoyt, I haven't slept for three nights", she said. "From where I stand, curing the symptom will be fine."
"It won't be fine for me", Hoyt replied with a touch of irritation. "I'm not prepared to obscure a potentially serious problem simply to allow you to nod off from time to time. What if you're under some outside influence? What if you're a threat to System Central? I'm a doctor, Alyssa, not a pharmacist. If you want to diagnose yourself, then buy your own treatment. Otherwise, tell me exactly what's happening and let me decide what to do about it."
There was no denying, Hoyt realised, that Alyssa looked tired. Her eyes were heavy, her tall figure seemed stooped, and she'd been irritable, even with Commander Heffernan. Hoyt believed that he would be failing in both duty and friendship if he didn't investigate closely.
His patient coloured slightly. "It's embarrassing, Hoyt", she said. "I don't really want to talk about it."
"Alyssa, we've known one another a long time", Hoyt insisted. "Whatever you tell me stays in medical. You know that. What are the dreams about?"
The Skellan woman looked down at the desk. Her fists were clenched, accentuating the orange pattern in her skin. "They... well..." She paused, considered, then made the jump. "Well, I suppose you could only call them erotic."
Franklin grinned. "Well, this sounds interesting", he declared enthusiastically. "Now I really do want to know more."
Col was used to Hoyt's inappropriate behaviour, and for the most part found it amusing. She liked him, particularly now that he was no longer pursuing her. Today, though, she simply wasn't in the mood. She pushed her chair back. "I might have known that'd be your attitude", she told him. "I come here with a genuine problem..."
Hoyt had already moved around the desk, was by her, his hand on her shoulder. "Alyssa, I'm sorry", he insisted. "Sit down, please. I was completely out of order. It won't happen again"
Reluctantly, Col returned to her chair and Franklin, after a pause, returned to his. "No more cracks", she warned, bottling her anger. "I mean it, Hoyt."
Franklin put his hand on his heart. "No more cracks", he assured. "I'm here to help, Alyssa. Truly."
Col cast her eyes down, mortified at the disclosure she was about to make. "I wake up nine or ten times a night, Hoyt", she told him, and there was an unusual tremor in her voice. "Hot and... well, uncomfortable. Every time, it's the same dream. It's getting to be unbearable. Particularly with Elisha being away. When I can't... well, you know..." She smiled briefly. "And no, I'm not looking for volunteers."
Franklin seemed to ignore the barb. Instead, he raised an eyebrow. "A memory, perhaps?", he suggested. "From a previous generation? It's happened before, to Skellans. In fact, involuntary regression is rather more common amongst skellans than most other humanoid races."
Col shook her head firmly, slamming Franklin's mental textbook shut. "No. Definitely no. The events occur here, Hoyt. On System Central. As far as I can tell, in the very recent past."
"How do you know that for certain?", Franklin asked. "I mean, the recent past bit? Could we be looking at the near future, maybe? I mean, can we rule out a temporal anomaly?"
"The recent past", Col insisted. "I'm certain of it. Announcements I recognise. People talking about Sven the Elder's upcoming holoparty for Andor's birthday. Which happened last week, as you know."
Hoyt was behind her again, using a medical tricorder. "And you are Alyssa Col in this dream?", he presumed.
"That's the odd thing", Col said. "In a lot of ways, I seem to be. When I look in a mirror, I see myself. But in other ways, I'm... well, someone else. And things aren't quite right in other respects. For example... Kandar's in the dream, but he has no command pips. Lirabel's there too, but she isn't pregnant. There was never a time when both of those things were true simultaneously.""
"Do the other characters in your dream see you as Alyssa Col?", Hoyt wondered.
She wondered where he was going with this. "Yes", she confirmed. "But it's a little more complicated than that. You see, the people that I do... well... things with... I know them. And they're people I'd never... well, never consider... I mean, never... Never have in the past... Never will in the future..."
"So they definitely aren't people you're attracted to?", Hoyt pressed. "This isn't a subconscious fantasy?"
"Absolutely not", Col insisted. "Sven is there. Sven, of all people. And you too, Hoyt."
Hoyt ignored the implied insult, mainly because his medical curiosity was fully engaged. Also, he was starting to have some very odd ideas. "Look, I can't find any evidence of any telepathic activity", he said, "but we'd be wise not to discard that possibility entirely. Alyssa, I'm even more strongly of the view now that we shouldn't dismiss this without some investigation. What I'd like to do is send you to sleep with a mild sedative, and then carry out some observations. And a few tests."
Col's eyes narrowed. "It's a bit drastic, Hoyt", she said. "I'm having uncomfortable dreams, that's all."
"Recurring dreams", Franklin reminded. "Which may not be quite as harmless as you seem to think".
Col surrendered with a groan. "I suppose I should lie down, then", she said.
"Yes", Hoyt agreed. "That would be best."
The sedative worked quickly. Alyssa didn't try to stay awake, but was aware that even if she had, she would not have succeeded. The lethargy which she felt was all embracing. Dizziness took her down. Hoyt's face became a blur.
And was replaced by the face of Carter Heffernan, as luscious sensation exploded in her back, buttocks and groin.
She smiled, looked up into Carter's wild eyes, felt the lovely closeness of him. And as always in these dreams, she found nothing strange about her situation at all.
Carter was kneeling, and her hips rested across his thighs. He was teasing her, moving the bulb of his enormous erection up and down the length of her slit. The action was easy and natural, because she was fully lubricated. She'd been that way, embarrassingly that way, since she and her five guests had talked in Sven's bar.
The gentle contact was luscious, belying the strength that Carter's appendage clearly possessed. Occasionally, he did use that strength to exert a little pressure on her clitoris, sending sweet twinges of pleasure through her stomach. If he continued the caresses, she realised, these alone would bring her to climax.
Of course, he didn't continue. He was far too young and too impatient for that. Eventually, he centred his weapon and, hands on her hips, pushed forward in an attempt to haul her on to it.
Far too young? Carter Heffernan?
But, she realised, this wasn't really Carter, was it? Because Alyssa felt none of the complex emotions she would expect to feel if she had truly been making love to her long standing friend.
The thought jarred with her, but she was too busy to find time to evaluate it further. Carter or not, she wanted this man inside her.
When Carter had removed his clothing minutes before, the sheer bulk of the thing had startled her.
She had studied him carefully, covetously, as he stood before her proud but sheepish. She had taken in his black, wiry hair, his deep and eager eyes, liked his smooth skin and his ready smile, noted his strong chest, slim hips and deeply muscled legs. Mostly, though, she had concentrated on... well, on his ebony tower, flattened in full erection against his stomach, the glans bulging broadly across his navel, prow tipped, and jaunty. Alyssa had slept with perhaps a dozen different men, and none of them had been so well endowed. Few of them had come close.
She recalled thinking, as she had beckoned him towards her, that some young lady somewhere down the line was never going to know just how lucky she was.
Never mind. It wasn't important. Because for now, even if only for a few minutes, she was going to be the lucky one.
Carter pushed and, despite her readiness, Alyssa's cunt didn't immediately admit him. So he pushed a little harder, using his thumbs at either side of the orifice in order to open it up a little.
The tactic worked. An inch of thick, stiff pole squeezed into Alyssa, her opening stretching to quite unfamiliar limits. She felt her lips draw back against her teeth, and she raised her hips slightly, labouring to help him. She was uncomfortable, but she was desperate too. Her nerve ends were already dancing.
"Come on, 'lyssa", he moaned. "Let me in. I know you want it."
.... There is more of this story ...