Chapter 5 - Dominick

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Space was wealth in New York City, and Dominick King's main office reflected that. The floor was wide blocks of gray and white rippled marble broken only by his desk, a natural grain Zebrano wood of minimalist design that allowed him to stretch his legs out as far as he liked. The desk fitted like a sideways L balanced on a rectangular block where he stored his important papers. Dom struggled constantly to keep the surface of his desk clean excepting his laptop an adjustable neck metal lamp, and a deep pink tissue paper flower in a vase that Helena sprayed with perfume every few days.

Sitting at his desk, he looked out over the wall of windows and watched the city stutter and move beneath him.

When he'd first gotten the office, before his responsibilities had weighed so heavily on him, he'd taken the rolling chair to the window and pushed off of it, speeding over the marble floor to the opposite side of the room. Helena had enjoyed the ride too, rolling and spinning until her blond hair frayed free of its ponytails and she leapt off, staggering to the floor with her eyes closed, giggling.

"It's like a roller coaster!" she'd exclaimed, and both of them had laughed.

He missed that Helena. The Helena who stood in front of him now was older, more poised, and as poisonous as a snake.

'Send her away,' his Angel whispered.

"No."

His Angel had grown more critical of Helena over the past year, probably a reflection of Dom's own frustration with her. But he would handle it, as he'd handled everything since even before his father had died. "What can I do for you, Helena?"

She was playing innocent today in a sky blue dress and light pink lip gloss. Her blond waves were parted in the middle with sections at her temple pulled back artfully, leaving a few absent strands to frame her face. In her right hand, she held a new tissue paper flower, this one bright yellow. Dom's chest clenched when he saw it. Usually, Helena gave him the flower at least without strings.

She crossed his desk and placed the flower next to the dusty pink one in the vase. It smelled strongly of Jean Nate, Helena's favorite perfume. "Carrieanne invited me over to watch movies tonight."

"You're under house arrest."

"Come on. I didn't do anything."

"You were drinking."

"You drink."

"I'm over twenty-one." And he'd built his own company up from dust, ash and bone.

"Come on, it's just movies. You can't punish me forever."

It had been 16 hours. And she didn't want to know how much he'd had to pay that photographer to keep the pictures to himself.

Dom sighed. "Invite your friend over here."

Helena's lips tightened. "You can't breathe in this place. It's so..." she shrugged, looking around. "There's no soul. I miss our old place."

"When dad got sick, we lost the house."

"No, the apartment."

Helena mystified him. "Why would you miss that place? It was public housing. We had mice. And you were stuck in the elevator that one time for three hours before someone came to fix it." She'd taken the stairs — all eleven flights up to their hole in the wall apartment — for months after that.

"I miss Mrs. Evangeline."

Their neighbor and Helena's old caretaker who had passed last year, just after Christmas.

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