The title is a placeholder. The story is about dimensional travel as an industry. Part of a Camp NaNo story, April 2016.
*Reminder: This work is entirely unedited and is literally a FIRST DRAFT, so while rates are appreciated, if you're going to rate this down without leaving something constructive, you can just keep the rating to yourself as it's not encouraging or beneficial.*
So he was attractive and capable.
Mabel flipped her hair over her shoulder, blowing the straggling pieces out of her face; the heat was beating down from the double suns and there was no discernible wind from any direction. From behind her came the steady sounds of Elco’s breath, just a few paces slower than hers. She pushed down the thread of envy that wove around her chest - she knew this desert, had memorized the course, and still he kept pace. A newcomer, a client, even, but he would give her a run for her credits, she expected.
“How much farther?” He’d come to stand beside her and his gloomy grey eyes stared out over the ravine she’d been surveying seconds before.
“An hour, maybe two if you need a break.” She took a swig from her canteen and offered it to him. She didn’t ask if he meant to their final destination or to the next portal, but it wasn’t her interest to keep tabs on time in dimensions they hadn’t even gotten to yet.
He drank and handed the canteen back, wiping his mouth on his wrist. “And how many dimensions after that?”
When she rolled her eyes, she realized he’d stopped looking at the ravine and had turned his focus to her. “Someone’s eager.” Slipping the canteen back into it’s place at her hip, she checked the straps on her pack and re-bound up her hair.
He rolled his shoulders and smiled at her attitude, “I’ve paid quite a sum to do this, I’m excited to see if it was worth it.”
“At least two, but it could be more. If one of the doorways has shifted, it could be a dozen dimensions before we get there. I know we’ve gone over this.”
“Right, right,” he said, nodding and gesturing with an open palm to the pathless tundra ahead of them. “I’m in no need of a break, so lead on.”
A quick glance at her timepiece told her she was spot-on as they approached the cliff-side where she knew they would find the doorway. Her veins were singing with the power of it, even from a distance. She could have found it with her eyes closed.
Mabel approached the face of the mountain, palm open, and let the vibrations of the portal inside kiss at her skin like little electrically charged fireflies. A smile crept onto her face that she did not feel.
Stepping up close to her, Elco said, “Are we close?”
She barely turned her eyes to him, that crooked, mischievous smile still quirking her lips. “We’re here.” Without bothering to see if he would follow, she stepped through the rocks and into raw space.