Nyx looked out the viewport next to her seat. It had been a long trip and a much longer time away than she’d thought it would be, but OED was below the ship and she felt an excited tug at the thought of seeing Hyrushi again. Their communications during the last year had been sporadic. He didn’t want to intrude on her grief or catch her at a disadvantage by calling during one of the meetings that were necessary to put her father’s assets in order. So, the calls had been mostly left to her discretion and Sin had let more time go by than she should have between conversations.
She had let him know when her ship would arrive and left it up to him to decide if he would be there to greet her or not. As the ship entered the atmosphere and descended, Sinayda took in the changes that a year had made on OED. There had been massive growth in population and enterprises; so much that it was hard to believe she’d only been gone twelve months. Kenzo told her about the influx during one of their calls but it was different seeing it with her own eyes.
Travelling light, an old habit that was difficult to break, Nyx shouldered her duffle and waited to land. People were cuing up to the exit ramp the closer they got to the surface. It was evening on OED and although she’d met and known many people before she left, she was sure no one would recognize her. For one, she was wearing a pair of jeans, boots and a loose, gray blouse and secondly, because she had hair. There would be time to don her usual look as she took back up the mantel of her old life. But for now…the look suited her.
She sighed as the ship docked and the doors opened. The situation on Rocq had been dealt with and she was looking forward to resuming her own life now. Stepping off the ramp, her cognac colored eyes searched those present who awaited their arrival but she didn’t see Kenzo. It was just as well. In truth, she didn’t know if she wanted him to be there or not. Having done a sensitive favor for one of the higher ups that owned the building she’d lived it, her penthouse was still waiting for her and had been freshly cleaned. With a satisfied, little spring in her step, Sin began the journey home.
When Nyx crossed the threshold of her apartment, she closed the door and leaned against it, soaking up the feeling of being alone. It had seemed while she was on Rocq that someone else was always around, which was difficult for a woman who had spend so much time with only her own company the last several years.
Twenty minutes later she was soaking in a bubble bath in the magnificent tub that sat centered in the black, marble bathroom. One of her favorite recording artists played over the audio system throughout the penthouse and a chilled glass of white wine sat on the edge of the bathtub. She took in a deep breath and sighed, closing her eyes to further enjoy the moment.
When she jerked awake, her chin was just sinking below the surface of the water and she sat up with enough force to make waves in the bath. “Well, that’s not a good idea!” She scolded herself while standing and reaching for a towel. The privacy felt really indulgent and Sinayda gloried in it, dropping the towel to the floor, picking up the glass of wine and strolling around the rooms in the nude. She was smiling as she did so but a huge yawn escaped her as she crossed through the bedroom doorway. “Okay, I know when I’m too tired to stay up…” So saying, she crawled between the covers of the massive bed and wiggled her body against the cool sheets. “I thank whoever brought me back to OED safely and am grateful for those, on this plane or in the Obsidian Realms who watched over me during the last year. Know that I am humbled by your attention.” It was the closest she got to a prayer—sending the words out into the ether, she was convinced they would find their way home.
Twelve hours later, Nyx blinked her eyes open and stretched languidly. It felt so good to be in her own space again that she got up for a cup of coffee and took it back to bed as an indulgent treat. Today was the day life got back on track. The first order of business was to visit Kenzo. The corners of her mouth lifted at the thought of seeing him again, but would things be the same? When she’d left, there was never any intention of being gone for an entire year. At most, she’d anticipated a few weeks—a month at the most. There were surprises though that no one in the family knew about. And those had had to be dealt with too.
Rising from the bed, Sin stepped to her closet and looked at the options there. “Let’s stay away from the work look today.” She smiled as her hand found a body conscious, pink dress. Yes, that one would do nicely with a pair of heels. Half an hour later, Nyx was in a hired car heading for the Governor’s office.
Walking into the building that housed the Government offices, Nyx felt another piece of her identity slip back into place. Not much had changed as far as she could tell, but the woman who sat in the outer office of the Governor was a surprise. They’d spoken on the phone once or twice and Kenzo had listed her attributes during a video chat, but secretly, she’d found herself hoping Dorma Fen would be ordinary looking. Instead, the woman was quite attractive and despite herself, Nyx felt a twinge of jealously.
“Hello, Miss Fen?”
The woman behind the desk smiled a friendly smile. She was indeed striking in appearance: a human with obvious Asian ancestry and vivid red hair. She stood up and said “And you are Sinayda Nyx. The Governor made sure I would know you on sight.” She looked at the large double doors that led into the Governor’s office. “He is on a conference call at the moment.” and she looked at Nyx. “I take it this a surprise visit?” and she smiled slightly.
Dorma Fen, Governor’s Aide
Nyx smiled. “Yes, a long overdue surprise. I returned as soon as I felt comfortable leaving everything in my brothers’ hands. There are five of them and they can’t agree on a single thing if left on their own.” Knowing how the position of Governor worked (as far as calls, meetings and appearances) there was nothing she could do except wait for a break in his schedule. “Would it be alright if I sit out here and wait?”
Fen smiled and said “Wait just a moment, Ms. Nyx.” and Fen tapped an icon on her desk interface. =/\= Governor, my apologies for the interruption. The Orbital Platform Directorship is waiting for your decision.=/\= There was a pause and then a familiar voice said =/\= Of course. Two minutes please, Ms. Fen.=/\= Dorma looked up at Nyx and said “A small phrase to indicate he is needed elsewhere.
A few moments later the doors swung out and open into the Governor’s office.
The interior had not changed since her last moments in the place, nor had the person behind the desk. Hyrushi was dressed in a deep burgundy silk suit with a charcoal gray vest and matching burgundy tie over a dark gray shirt. His long black hair hung straight down his back, and he stood as the doors opened.
Nyx felt the thrill Kenzo inspired within her, but she didn’t think she let it show. He looked wonderful—elegant and proper.
It took only a moment for recognition to play across his face and he gave a small, reserved smile. “Sin… it is so good to see you. I was beginning to think our paths had finally diverged. I am very pleased that is not the case. Please, sit.” and he indicated a chair in front of the desk. “Tell me…” he said as he took his seat, “… is this a visit? Or have you returned to grace Oed with your presence permanently?”
She walked across the floor and gracefully folded herself into the indicated chair, crossing one leg over the other demurely. “Unless there is another catastrophe, I believe I am here permanently. I made arrangements moths ago to keep the penthouse—which is where I stayed last night.” She let her gaze familiarize itself with the furnishing and decor before looking back at Hyrushi. “And you? How are you, Kenzo? Is life still good here on OED?”
“Life is busy.” Kenzo responded with a smile. “Many, many changes since you left. Have you kept abreast of the happenings here? And I will take no offense if your familial needs took precedence over matter so far from your home. And I do remember your brothers having been… problematic… in the past.”
Sin shook her head and pushed dark bangs out of the way. “I would love to say I’ve kept up on everything having to do with OED but the truth is I haven’t. My father had a lot of secrets no one knew about and figuring all that out and taking care of of the fallout took most of my attention.” He hadn’t embraced her, nor offered her tea. It made her wonder about the careful dance they were doing to get reacquainted with each other.
“I didn’t know if you had plans for the rest of the day or not, but I was hoping we might be able to get lunch?”
Kenzo nodded and said “Let me check my calendar.” and he tapped a few times on his desk. “I’m sure I can shuffle a few things around. Do you want to here, or go somewhere?” he asked as he sent apologies and rescheduled his mid-afternoon appointments. “There has been quite a bit of growth since you were last here. Many new restaurants and cafes.”
Very pleased that he was able to make time for her suggestion, Nyx smiled. “Why don’t I leave the where to you? I am happy to simply have time together face to face. Despite having the last year with family, I’ve missed you, Kenzo, and would almost be content to eat gagh…almost.” Chuckling, she rose from the chair and began walking slowly around the office to expel a little nervous energy.
Kenzo made and sent notes and, without looking up, said “I have missed you as well, Sin. You pace now? The Nyx I knew a year ago did not let nervousness show like that.” He then looked up and smiled and added “The slider will meet us downstairs. There has been some recent excitement, so you will have to be comfortable with some added security.” He stood up and walked around the desk towards her, stopping near but not close. “It is very pleasing to see you again.”
“For the last year I’ve been able to strike out, physically, whenever emotions rose. My brothers were more than happy to spar with me. One of them even cracked my rib.” She gave an aside as if she were sharing a secret. “It was a lucky shot and I paid him back during our next go round.”
“Anyway, finding myself traveling several days to get here and coming back to a situation I am unsure of…I find myself without an outlet for adrenaline and anxiety. So, yes, I pace until I establish a schedule again that includes working out.” Sin was aware of the distance between them and wondered if it was for his benefit or hers. “The extra security is no bother but what is the cause for it?”
Hyrushi nodded and said “Wal with me.” and he led her out of the office. He stopped at the desk and said “I’m going to lunch. Make sure that I am not disturbed unless its an emergency.” Dorma nodded and said “Absolutely, Governor. Enjoy your lunch.” She looked at Sinayda and said “A pleasure, Ms. Nyx. I hope to see you again soon.”
“Thank you, I hope so too.”
As Hyrushi and Nyx stepped into the turbolift, Hyrushi hit several buttons before the ground floor one. “We had an attack about a week ago. Lucas Holloway of Holloway Heavy Industries was the target we believe, but riding in his shuttle with him was General Calvin Harris, the Commanding General of the new Colonial Customs and Defense Agency. The shuttle was struck by a missile launched from a nearby building. So far, we have not identified the shooter. But a few days after the attack, protests out of nowhere popped up all over the city… almost simultaneously.” The lift stopped, the doors opened, and Hyrushi waited for them to close again. “There was one here at the Tower. I addressed the crowd, and between the Oed Police and the CIA, they managed to capture a suspect that they feel was there inciting the crowd. An empath, if the reports are correct.” Again a stop and pause until the doors closed. “But until we know what is happening and why, all Senior Government officials have extra security in place.”
Well, she certainly had timing it seemed. She’d gotten called away during an especially tense time on OED and it appeared she’d returned during another incident. “How many casualties and has anyone claimed responsibility for the attack?” Cognac eye glanced at the floor indicator panel. “Was there a reason you pressed so many buttons? It this some new protocol?”
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