Getting back to her took him almost three days.
In reality, it took Mark a little over six months to muster the courage to go and meet her again.
Six months of brooding, not only at night in his bunk, but every day when he was alone or doing chores with his crewmates that did not meant interaction or talking with anyone, he found himself thinking about the giant girl; at the beginning he thought he would eventually get over it as some mild mental trauma; being grabbed and manhandled by a giant creature (no matter how lovely, he reluctantly acknowledged even when he was in her clutches) before whom he was completely helpless was nothing short of nerve-wracking… he had been caught by big people before, always escaping in the end, but the other experiences were, if more painful and dangerous, easier to sort out mentally in that in those he at least was clear he disliked the experience.
But with what had happened between him and Zava, although intimidating, he was not sure at first that it was altogether unpleasant: it left him bewildered as he had never been; he liked, he acknowledged now, more than a little conceitedly, to think of himself a self-made man, independent, who always knew what he wanted and what he stood for; at least that is how he saw himself before stumbling upon the 25 meter-tall belle that unsettled his worldview to the bottom.
As time passed, with the long walks needed to supply the Spindrift with food and the numerous chores to keep it maintained, he had plenty of opportunity to ponder long on her encounter with the alien beauty, although he knew he had been (more than technically) molested and abused, he found himself, with a crooked smile, not holding it against her, after all. He had, after all, kind of goaded her with his scoffing attitude and dismissing her as a child (which he knew, even then, deep down, that she no longer was one) …
And she did not hurt him, quite the opposite, but she certainly enjoyed overpowering him, that’s for sure. And that awkward, mutually complicitous but covert look they shared when they last spoke in her hand beside Betty… that was the final nail in the coffin of his old self; he even blurted a hint that he was not unwilling to see her again. Finally, although he was not sure, he though, his heart skipping a beat, that she saw her quietly weep when he last looked back longingly at her, standing at the tree line, hastily turning back from them and almost running away as if to escape from their tiny figures gazing at her from between the high grass.
In the days following his harrowing first meeting with Zava, he thought that he would man up and eventually forget the incident, forget Zava as he had left other confrontations with big people behind him, and move on with whatever life he had left, stranded as he was in this alien world, where everything was disproportionately, awkwardly and uncomfortably big, even women.
But he didn’t forget. He did not get over her; as time passed, his memory of her never grew any dimmer and he thought more and more fondly of the giant woman, her dark eyes, mischievously smiling lips, cheerful personality and graceful, cat-like movements and gait, disconcerting in someone of her gargantuan proportions. Being held in her hands, looking into those eyes, he knew that he was lost and hers even when she released him, even more so then as in doing so, she revealed her ultimately compassionate and empathetic disposition.
And he could no longer deny it: He did not, consciously nor unconsciously, want to let her fade from his mind; what is more: he knew that he could not, he was altogether powerless, to stop thinking of her. In fact, it was not only daydreaming, he started dreaming at night more and more often of the dark-eyed giantess, until it seemed it was everything he dreamt of.
And they were not innocent dreams, either. When he woke up he could not recollect the entire dream, of course, but only flashbacks of her huge lithe form stooping over him… her legs towering over him and then her thighs spreading to his sides and beyond him as she kneeled… her gigantic body descending to cast a looming shadow over him, her slender yet enormous long-fingered hand spread and, faster than he thought possible for such a huge animal as she was, reaching for him and tenderly but unescapably grabbing him, pinning his limbs, leaving him helpless, with only his head sticking out of her incredibly soft, warm, aromatic fist… the close up of her unpainted, healthy pink, shortly and neatly trimmed thumbnail near his face…
the vertigo in his belly and the back of his thighs as she lifted him dozens of feet to her comely face, past but tantalizingly close to her slightly parted lips to look at him unsettlingly close and unsettlingly deep with her chocolate colored eyes framed by those long lashes and thin eyebrows as eyes as big as his head and almost unbearably beautiful, brimming with piercing intelligence, scrutinized his features moving quickly over his diminutive figure in the palm of her hand with a mix of innocent awe and a blooming intuitive female desire while she cooed over him with her (to him) slightly deep and husky voice… was that look really in her eyes when he was captured by her… or was he assuming things? The dreams were not limited to visuals, however.
He had also flashbacks of the disquietingly womanly scent emanating from her naked thigh skin when he was put in her lap and later pinned against it while she fondled him at will… before that, the undeniable warmth wafting up from her crotch even through her pajamas while he was standing in her lap under the shelf of her trembling, soft, braless and enormous bosom beyond which he could see her gleaming eyes knowingly looking down at him with a mysterious Mona Lisa like smile… the hint of her puffy nipples through the thin (to her) sleepshirt fabric and her breath, sweet as honey washing over him even as she kissed his midsection… and she did significantly more than that, leaving him as dazed, excited and confused as he had ever been.
Those were mildly modified flashback dreams of the incident itself, but he had, increasingly often, dreams of things she did not manage or dare to do to him then… and in the dreams, he was not always powerless to resist her advances, but sometimes he made advances of his own… like spying on her and roaming her house, watching her unseen while she went about unaware, half-naked, or climbing into her bed, looking at her humongous naked curves only partially covered with her blanket, illuminated by the rising alien sun, and her lovely, but titanic, peaceful sleeping face with lightly parted lips.
But he was, even now when he marched, one tiny step at a time in an oversized landscape, towards her, not sure if it was love at first sight or an unhealthy obsession… what, after all, could he offer with his, to her, diminutive self that just about any other giant man in the planet could not do better a hundred times over? She had been, after all, gentle, if teasing and had willingly, if timidly and reluctantly at first, helped them escape a cruel fate and released them to freedom, something NO other giant ever had done on his or her own. Also, there was not THAT much of an age difference.
Although he was not sure of the exact equivalencies, she was over eighteen earth years old and in full womanhood; he was 31 and had not crushed on any girl this hard not even in his teens, there had been plenty fooling around in his day, though. Zava seemed also more than a little experienced with men. But, when his thoughts wandered in her direction, in the end, disheartening, he shook his head and mulled over than he would be to her little more than a pet or a toy she would eventually tire of… he could never protect her, cuddle with her or embrace her… where would he live? In her underwear drawer? In a terrarium in her nightstand?
Being only like 10 cm tall in her scale, he could not even sleep with her in bed without the danger of being smothered under titflesh, buttflesh or tummyflesh if she rolled over him, or crushed or at least be heavily injured in an innocent sleepy trashing of her slender body that nonetheless weighed upwards of several dozen tons, or be thrown off the bed by a flailing of a giant-boned limb, no matter how shapely; or worse, inadvertently stepped on someday by her slender toed foot or carelessly sat on and crushed by her mammoth fanny.
More humiliatingly were more mundane thoughts, he sometimes had (when, embarrassingly, he had to use the privy and was alone with his thoughts, which unerringly wandered to her as always when he was on his own), as he mused that, to her, he was even smaller than a tiny snack she would normally eat in between meals (she could probably easily fit him in his mouth, but thankfully, he was not small enough for her to swallow him whole), or even that he was likely smaller than what would come out of her rear end after digesting such snack, an act even more disturbing to contemplate when he thought of it at her scale.
One recurring nightmare had him somehow falling into her toilet, where he swam hopelessly until he saw her lumbering form arrive, pull down her pants, and before he could even catch sight of her pert rear, she would squat over him, blocking most light, unaware of his presence, to relieve herself over him, his horrified cries for help being masked in what for her was surely only a moderate amount of liquid being released from her massive innards, splashing in an appallingly thick stream over him, and then being flushed out without her face ever looking at him swirling to his untimely demise in the giant loo, his last sight her hand coming between her now lightly spread legs, wiping herself with some paper she soon discarded in the bowl, and her towering silhouette standing up to button back her pants far above and only the underside of her chin, and her legs and ass being visible, while uncaringly walking away from sight to wash her hands, without even catching a last glance from her eyes before the deep and the darkness of the house’s plumbing took him into oblivion.
He thought often also, and was as ashamed as she was elated when he often recalled of the actual incident when she had overpowered him with just her two fingers pinching him down there and played with him; after, his dark pants had dried enough from his loins’ explosion to (he hoped) not make it obvious when he was later finally reunited with Betty, who tactfully (and thankfully) did not witness it (or did she perhaps overhear her booming voice teasing him?) and did not probe him about what had transpired between him and the cinnamon-skinned giantess, and refrained also to tell the story to their crewmates.
All members of the crew, after all, had perturbing experiences of their own to deal with when being found by the big people and most of the time they did not want to delve into the details afterwards. This time it was no different, and after being warmly welcomed back, he was directed again to the task of applying his not inconsiderable technical knowledge to trying to fix the ship, a task that he then thought was increasingly hopeless… that is, until a few weeks back when Valerie happened to find an entrance to an electronics warehouse where they could finally purloin some much-needed materials, like germanium, without getting caught for a change.
And after some tests, they finally had the reactor charging for a week. The last flight computer diagnostics had been all systems go and they knew now that they were ready to depart. They were only waiting for a calendar date in the giant people holidays that usually involved a huge, city wide fireworks celebration event before dawn that they thought would cover their exit into low orbit and when the authorities would be too busy to intercept them until they were outside the atmosphere and could warp home; they used the time they had to steal and hoard some foodstuffs for the trip home. As he helped with these final tasks, nobody seemed to suspect his traitorous thoughts.
But confronted with his imminent departure from the extra-terrestrial planet, Mark found he could not take it anymore. To his bemusement, he ultimately realized he did not want to leave, never again seeing the colossal dark-haired and bronze-skinned young alien beauty; he actually had kind of promised Zava they would meet again, hadn’t he? So, he decided, after being sure that they would be ok on their own, he would abandon his companions for good and take his chances with her. He finally made up his mind, packed all his things in a rucksack, girdled himself with a machete-like bush knife, and with no other weapon (he thought of carrying his rifle, but he decided against it, his companions would probably need it more), he left his crewmates in the middle of the night, two days before takeoff, leaving an admittedly short farewell note in the ship’s log for his marooned companions to find: ending in a laconic “Do not wait for me; I will not be coming back”, without giving any more clues of his mission to avoid a misguided rescue attempt.
Since it was Zava who took them then from her house to the edge of the woods where the ship was hidden, Mark was more than a little unsure he could find his way back to Zava’s dwelling, because the perspective from her hand then was quite different from the one he had now, much closer to the ground. He got lost as a building he remembered had been demolished in the interim, and it was now a vacant lot overgrown with weeds, and he had taken a wrong turn.
In the end night had caught up with him and he had to camp in an alley; the next day he went to the top of a (relatively ) tall nearby five-story building to get a better view, which took him the best part of a whole day to get to the roof and later back down to the street. When he was on top of the building, he finally saw a big purple-flowering alien tree he remembered was near her house. If he got to the tree, he was sure he could find her lodgings from there.
The next day, at dawn, he began the ten-mile hike to the tree. He finally made it and from there he saw, across the street, half a block away, a stairway that conduced to Zava’s tiny student apartment, which he remembered was in a second floor. There weren’t that many giant people around, as it was early in what he knew it to be the equivalent, in the giant’s society (which had eight alien day “weeks”), of a late early Saturday evening, but as he would have to cross the street, afraid to be caught in the open when he was so close to his goal, he did not want to take any chances and decided to wait hidden beneath the tree’s gnarled roots and approach Zava’s house later in the night, so he camped there and treated himself to a few protein rations, and barricaded himself in a burrow he found.
Tired, he managed to drift into an uneasy slumber, not before setting an alarm in his wrist body-computer-watch for roughly 3 hours before the alien dawn). Asleep in his hole, physically and emotionally spent, he slept through the whole racket of the volley of fireworks, did not notice the sonic boom generated by the Spindrift getting into orbital velocity and even missed seeing his quarry arrive.