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I Once Loved You

Posted on 17 Apr 2017 @ 3:40am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Symbiosis Commission Headquarters

Jayla looked up at the building that held the headquarters of the symbiosis commission as she approached. It was her third visit here. The first had been to determine that was, in fact, transplanting memories and not something more serious. She had been sure of it, but of course humored them through the process. At the second appointment, the counselor had given her calming exercises that were identical to the ones Counselor Stuart had taught her.

She had vowed never to doubt another counselor ever again as long as she lived.

Jessa had arrived the previous day with Neville. She had temporary legal guardianship of him and had started the process of officially adopting him. The boy seemed sadder than Jayla remembered him, but he seemed to be doing okay. He really liked their father's jokes, which was good because Jayla and Jessa had grown tired of them. Today, they were going fishing.

And Jayla was going to see a counselor. All things considered, she'd rather be fishing.

Today's session was open; she could talk about anything she pleased. She planned on just letting everything out and never mind if she cried through the whole thing. She needed to tell someone- anyone- what she'd been through. It wouldn't even mattered if they understood, just as long as they listened.

She walked into the building and smiled at the receptionist, who already recognized her and waved her through. She turned the corner and walked straight into an older man. “Oh!” she exclaimed, reaching out to steady him as he did the same for her. “I'm so sorry!”

“Why don't you watch where you're going?” he demanded angrily.

“I could say the same for you,” she replied, too shocked to say anything else.

“You nearly knocked me over!”

You nearly knocked me over!” she retorted, angrily. “And at least I apologized!”

“You should!” he growled at her. “It was your fault!”

“Kij!” came a voice from behind her. “Pol! Please!”

They both stopped suddenly and stared at each other, dumbfounded.

The receptionist appeared then. “You two are making a scene,” he said. “Please be quiet.”

But they weren't listening.

“Kij,” said the man, voice gentle. “It's good to see you're well.”

“And you, Pol,” she said, barely able to keep the emotion out of her voice.

“You two know one another?” asked the receptionist.

“Previous hosts,” answered Jayla, not taking her eyes off Pol. “Jayla,” she introduced herself.

“Eriond,” he replied with his own name.

Belar Kij and Liara Pol had adored one another so thoroughly that it had affected their symbionts. Kij's subsequent hosts had all been affected by the memory of Liara to the point that no other woman could possibly measure up. None of them had been in a relationship with a woman since then. She had no idea if Pol's hosts had been affected the same way.

After a few more moments, as the receptionist attempted to gain their attention, Pol shook himself. “I will be sure that my appointments no longer coincide with yours,” he said regretfully.

That made Jayla want to cry. It was hard, but she swallowed and nodded. “It was good to meet you, Eriond Pol,” she said quietly.

“It was good to meet you, too, Jayla Kij,” he replied. And, with a resolute sigh, he walked past her and out the door.

“Are you okay, Kij?” asked the receptionist; Jayla really needed to learn his name.

“I'm fine,” she answered. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Never realized how hard that would be.”

He gave her an understanding smile. “I met one of Riem's old friends before,” he said. “They were best friends, like brothers. I can't imagine what it would have been like if they'd been lovers.”

Jayla gave him a grateful smile and nodded. “Thanks,” she said. “I'll be okay. I'll just make sure they don't schedule me for the same day anymore.”

He nodded and pointed her towards the lifts, then went back to his desk.

She headed to the lift, which was thankfully empty and ordered it to the proper floor. She was so glad they had met in public or she didn't know what would have happened.

It looked like she had one more thing to talk over with the counselor.


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