Chapter Thirty Five - Pretending

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"It's your father sir," Commander Mei Wen raised a brow in frustration as his footsteps halt beside hers. Inhaling an infuriate breath, he clenched his hands on the edges of the headroom development table.

"He's tracked the ship. He knows we're off course."

Griping his hands even tighter, he slammed his fist on the table. "When will he be here?" Jav hissed.

"I had to notify him of our destination. He will be arriving shortly after us, the next morning at latest."

The obstacle that was his father surfaced. He knew this was coming, but chose to push it aside for too long. He wasn't completely unprepared for his arrival though. Alternative arrangements were already in place for something like this, though his father had caught onto him sooner than he expected.

"Jav," Mei said, bringing him back from his thoughts. "People are beginning to talk," she glanced to the operational control officers, then lowered her voice to a slight mutter, "The girl, she's not with the other prisoners. You're father demands an execution. Why are we really going to Ekeqon?"

"Are you questioning my command, Commander Wen?" Jav was careful to not hoist his voice, but by no means did he do this so others would not hear. Some had already stolen a glance at them. He simply didn't desire to argue with Mei at the moment. But, what he will not do was allow her or anyone to question his order.

"I'm questioning your interest in the girl."

Her comment was so negligible he wanted to flip the table. The girl was the least of her worries, or so he needed her to believe.

"Commander, my interests in the girl are none of your concern, your job is to follow my orders. You've never questioned my order before, so I am intrigued to know how your quick shift in loyalty has been persuaded. Is your loyalty now with my father?"

"Of course not," was her automatic reply, almost preventing him from finishing his sentence. There's a softness in her voice, that soothed his fret, but he cannot entirely believe her. He cannot feel her energy. She's never said it, but he knew what she could do. That's why he chose her for this job. Abilities don't work on her. Even he cannot even see into her future. She was a weapon at his disposal but not if his father had promised her something far more valuable than what he could offer.

His gut alarmed him something was wrong here, with her. Since Avianna and the others have arrived she's been persistent at arriving to Ekeqon as soon as possible. Though he wanted the same, it's strange for her to. Maybe she felt his father would punish her as well now that he knew he had changed course. This would surprise him though. He hadn't known Mei to back down from his deterrent father, but her tense expression made him question otherwise.

"Could you please stop staring at me," she glimpsed towards him, then went back to the communications on the development table. Her ebony hair was in a low tight bun, accentuating her doll-like features with her heart-shaped face, and wide eyes.

"Something is troubling you," he shut off the hologram. She's smart enough to leave it off, and face before him.

"I just want to know why we are going to Ekeqon. You don't tell me anything. Not anymore. How can I trust you aren't going in way over your head? I knew your father would find out, and now—he's very angry, and interested in what you are doing. Whatever you're planning Jav, whatever you're up too, your father is going to find out and stop you." Her dark doe eyes burn into his.

She was right about one thing. He didn't tell her anything anymore. He couldn't, without her getting hurt. Mei's the only girl he had been able to trust after the death of his mother, and she's shown him undying loyalty. He cannot tell her this of course, he wouldn't let another girl get close to him in his life. Not after his mother. He wouldn't take that risk.

But, the look in her eyes now, showed him he's already risking a lot. Caring for anyone will be used against him undoubtedly. His father will use Mei against him, and Avianna if he got the chance. He doesn't want that to happen, but he already knew who he'd choose between them, and it wasn't Mei.

So, he must send her away. He knew this was what he had to do. Before she began to care far deeper than she already did, he must let her go. This was for her safety. He will not let her die at the hands of his father.

This will be one of the last encounters he will have with her.

"Ekeqon will be your final assignment with me Commander Wen, that's why I haven't told you all the details. You're being reassigned to Peril, in the Youqir System. You weren't supposed to find out until tonight, where I was going to announce it at the banquet. A transfer is taking you and a few others who have been reassigned as well at dusk on Ekeqon."

"What? Jav, no—"

"This isn't your decision," he interrupted her coldly.

Her expressions were so easy to read when she wasn't blocking it. With ire in her eyes, there's a thousands words that want to come spilling from her teeth. But, none do. Her clamped fists relax, the tenseness in her shoulders subsiding. She controlled her anger, choosing to nod at her new position. Turning away, she tapped belligerently on the development table, shouting orders, preparing for entrance into Ekeqon.

He didn't notice how fast the moon was approaching. Pushing his cape aside, he existed to prepare Avianna. She's going to have to be in cuffs along with the other prisoners.

His father wanted an execution when he arrived.

And he was going to give him one.

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