by H. A. Titus -
Pieter leaned back in his bed and closed his eyes.
In a way, night was a relief. It meant Pieter could go back to his cubbyhole of a living space and disappear from the world for a while. Away from the prying eyes of the Enforcers. Out of range of the stares from people in the docking bays who recognized his picture from the news reports.
It meant a break from Cara. He liked the girl, but sometimes her incessant questions grated on him. You had so much money, why did you get bored? Do the rich people really have cyborgs to serve them? Do you know where Avenir came from?
Lately, her questions had been taking a disturbingly spiritual turn. Who was Jesus? Why do you think the book you gave me talks about 'living water'? He didn't want the reminders of his mother.
But when he shoved away the cares of the day, she always took their place.
Chocolate-hazel eyes, silk-straight black hair pulled in an elegant knot at the nape of her neck. A fierce temper and even fiercer devotion. Jokes and small talk late into the night, a glass of wine while watching stars out the glass-fronted captain's deck.
Much worse than a few distrustful stares or never-ending chatter.
Her heart-shaped face was always in his mind, that playful fire dancing in her eyes. Even in the heat of battle, she had that spark, that vivacity, that filled his empty heart with hope and love.
She had been another mistake in the thousands that weighed on his chest. If he thought about her too long, his brain would start reciting his other mistakes. It was like she was a piece of fruit in the bottom corner of a large orange pyramid, and if he took out his memories of her, the rest came tumbling down on top of him.
Pieter groaned and rolled onto his side, squeezing his eyes shut so tightly that his head started to pound. "Go away, Amaris. Please, please go away."