Asimov had been returned to Boss's estate at last. After seeing him settled into his room she moved down the hall and rapped her knuckles against the door to Gideon's room. There was a quick shuffle of feet before the vox threw it open.
"Oh!" She looked around quickly. "H-hey, Boss."
Boss twined her hands together in front of her torso. "Mind if I come in, Gideon?"
Gideon's ears flattened in surprise, "Uhhh, sure?"
"Are you...busy?" Boss asked, one eyebrow arching.
Gideon was nervous more often than not, but the vox seemed unusually anxious. "No, Yes, I mean, uh—-"
"Are you alone?" Boss interrogated further.
Gideon's cheeks fluffed outward, "Oh, yes, that's not..."
"I don't want to interrupt anything," Boss said succinctly.
Gideon cleared her throat and pushed the door open further, giving permission for Boss to enter. "No, please come in."
Boss moved past her and into the room. Gideon's clothes were strewn everywhere, save for what was lopsidedly tossed into a suitcase that rested on the bed. Boss noticed that the vox's cheeks were slightly damp as if with tears.
"Everything ok?" Boss asked, sinking onto the chaise at the end of the bed and carefully straightening her skirts over her knees with a dainty gesture.
Boss leaned back in the chair and crossed her legs, steepling her fingers and fixing the vox in a hard stare. "Gideon."
"Hmmm?" said Gideon, not meeting her gaze.
"What's going on?"
Gideon sighed and fell flat onto the bed, her face pressed into the bedspread. "I'm leaving," she said, voice muffled by the plush fabric.
"Oh?" Boss asked simply.
Gideon rolled onto her back, staring up at the canopy that spread over the bed. She took her tail in her hands and began to nervously run her fingers over it. "I got a job on a freighter, I leave tomorrow."
Boss considered this for a moment. "When did you decide on this course of action?" she finally asked.
"Today," Gideon said softly.
"Do you want to leave?" Boss asked, her voice absent of any judgment.
Gideon let out a long sigh that whistled through her fangs. "No," she admitted.
"Than why go?" Boss pondered, placing the weight of her head into her hand as she rested her elbow on the arm of the chaise.
Gideon rolled to her side and hesitantly met Boss's inquisitive glance. "I don't have a reason to stay," she admitted, her whiskers drooping and ears limp. "Tate and Csy are working for you, Cash has her moonshine, Asimov's got his shop. What do I have?"
Boss shifted her weight against the seat of the chair. "People that care about you," she pointed out.
Gideon blinked quickly and looked away. "Well...they don't really need me either," she said, her voice full of tender hurt. "Vox don't stay in one place long anyway."
Boss carefully observed Gideon beneath hooded eyes. Any thoughts she might have said out loud were interrupted by a quiet thunk against the door to the bedroom. The two women looked at each other and then to the door. Boss pressed one finger to her lips, and Gideon nodded. Boss slowly approached, twisting the knob in her hand and pulling it quickly toward herself.
YOU ARE READING
Gunslingers & GalaxiesScience Fiction
[Editors' Choice] Cash Guthrie can hide no longer. The notorious gunslinger and her band of alien misfits plan to rob the biggest Casino in town. It's not about the money for Cash though, it's about Boss and the love they once shared. ______________...