Part 31 Date with Tyee

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{More edits on this. I'm going for getting the sensuality in the dancing scene just right}

The following morning I annotated financial charts—tried to anyway. Excited about the dance I barely tasted my lunch. Gagnon and Takachika sat together discussing the market panic that had followed the Solstice Epidemic. Was it or wasn't it a market adjustment after rampant speculation? I couldn't care less.

Sanchez was bent over what must have been Multicast articles, but she hadn't asked me to translate. Her Fenrian was improving rapidly. With a twinge of anxiety, I realized Space Transit might not need me anymore. But I didn't really care about that either.

I made my move, approaching Gagnon.

"Excuse me." I smiled sweetly. "I won't be working on financial reports this afternoon. I'll be doing cultural research. Don't worry. I'm not going alone."

She accepted my explanation with a nod. "Very well."

Concealing my glee, I dodged out of the room before she could say anything more.

In my quarters I took a shower and dressed in my magenta double-cone skirt, the one I'd brought all the way from Goldborough on the distant planet of New Vodin. It sounded so exotic, even though it was plain old Goldborough. Distance did that.

I checked in on Wolfie who lay curled on Tyee's bunk aboard the ship. She yawned and I recovered her nose with her tail.

Without her handy, I used a mirror to check my appearance and that was odd because I couldn't see the back of my head, and everything in a mirror is reversed.

As hair goes, mine wasn't interesting, just dark brown. I'd once tried to pretend it was raven-wing black. My eyes were also brown--not sapphire blue, not emerald green. What kind of precious stone is brown? Grandpa might know, but I wasn't going to ask him.

I made my face regal, calm, almost expressionless. I had high cheekbones I told myself. A classic beauty. I should have this expression all the time.

Who was I fooling? Going around with a frozen face wouldn't improve my appearance. My face was round, and my cheeks dimpled when I smiled. Cherubic maybe?

I gathered my hair in a bundle and held it in a pony-tail on top of my head. Silly. Then I pulled the bundle to one side—asymmetrically stylish. My scars showed at my hairline. Not apex!

I shook out my hair. I'd wear it unbound. Next, I dumped the contents of my shoulder bag on the bed, but left it all. I didn't even need the shoulder bag since I wouldn't be translating or taking Gagnon's infernal questions about bond shares and the like.

Street cameras sent views of Tyee hiked up the steep lane. This time he wore gray-green, with his hip boots folded down, the lining bright with platinum stars and swirls—every detail Royal Guard.

At the door, I grasped his hand and kissed him on the cheek. "This will be so much fun. Thank you for helping me."

His smile, starting from the corners of his mouth, rose to his eyes, and their tawny depths sparkled. "Your dress. It's the color of river beauty."

"You mean the flower?"

"Aye. The bright pink flower that graces river banks."

Walking along the lane arm-in-arm with him--my handsome Seaguardsman--I said, "Tell me what should I expect?"

"Well, Fennako is putting on the dance in honor of the queen's birthday."

"Which queen?" I asked innocently, as if I didn't know.

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