Well, back in September I introduced you to how Yarma reacted when she first saw Belnesse. Today, let’s learn how she reacted when she discovered she would be living in an apartment attached to Quinn’s home. Putting it mildly, she wasn’t happy!
…Excerpt from Chapter Twenty…
Quinn watched the scene before him unfold. No one had bothered to tell her she would be living with him – well not with him but at his house, so to speak. It certainly wasn’t his idea. No, Andrew had told him in no uncertain terms she would be staying in the apartment attached to his house. Didn’t ask him, didn’t explain. All he said was ‘I needed to get to know her better’. Now, why would I have to do that? I don’t even want her living so close to me; he said to himself. Hell, I don’t even want to be around her. Right. He knew that was a lie but refused to accept the truth – he was so drawn to her that it frightened him. On top of that no one had bothered to explain to him yet what his part in this whole scenario was. Now, what was he going to do?
Feeling righteous indignation, Quinn made the decision that he would deposit her in her apartment and then go to his personal home, change, skip the ‘family dinner’ and head out for The Obelisk. Yes, that was his plan.
As soon as they arrived at the equine section of the husbandry building, all the horses were taken care of and returned to the corralling area. When Yarma asked how everyone was going to get to their homes, her mother explained the use of ‘personal transport pads’, or PTPs, to her. Apparently there was a variety of ways you could navigate around Belnesse. There was ‘public use’ transport pads that allowed one to get instantaneously from one location to another within the city. There were what Andrew called ‘conveyors’ that apparently were bullet shaped modules that could be attached or detached from each other and moved at exceptional speeds along a preset rail using a form of gravity. And, of course, the city was laid out with multiple pathways doing the simple act of walking a pleasurable and relaxed experience.
But PTPs, were very specific. There were certain locations only available to citizens with personal transport authorization, and all one had to do was step on a PTP, use a unique digital device and instantaneously arrive at a designated location of your choice, such as your home. There was both a public transport pad area and two PTPs available in the equine section of the husbandry building. After saying brief ‘goodbyes’, each group headed out to their respective places, except for her and Quinn.
“Do you have a personal transporter too?” Yarma inquired as they just stood there staring at each other.
“Is there one for my apartment?”
“So, if I want to use the PTP exactly where will I end up? Outside or inside your house?” she sarcastically asked.
“Inside, sort of. But don’t worry your virtue is perfectly safe. The PTP is inside the entryway that leads directly to a private entrance to my home and your apartments,” was his sarcastic response.
Without another word, Quinn grabbed her bag along with his and started walking to one of the PTPs there in the equine section. Upon reaching it, he turned around and caustically said, “Are you coming or do you plan on staying here with the horses?”
Standing even straighter, with her head held high, Yarma walked over to him, he held his hand out for her to take and then both stepped onto the pad. After pushing up his sleeve a bit, Yarma saw a small band with slightly raised small numbers on the underside of his wrist. Quinn looked at her and, for a brief second, he thought he saw a flash of fear as she closed her eyes tight; then he felt a small tremor in her hand before he let go to punch in his transport code.
“Open your eyes, we’re here.”
Realizing she had been holding her breath, Yarma suddenly gasped in a deep breath. Replacing the equine transport room was a hallway that was beautiful in its starkness. The hallway was L-shaped with a door at each end. The transporter pad was sitting at the elbow of the L configuration. The walls were a two-toned grey; the top two-thirds of the wall was a light aluminum shade while the bottom third was a darker charcoal color. There was a strip of tarnished, brushed silver with beautiful etchings that spanned the complete entryway. Bordering the top and bottom of each wall were geometrically shaped, embedded soft lights that provided illumination as it reflected off the silver stripping. It was unlike anything Yarma had ever seen. It was amazing in its simplicity.
“Your apartment is through the door down to your left. It opens up to a small alcove just off the kitchen area. The code for your entry for that entrance is XY794. Make yourself at home.”
“That’s it? Drop me and run, is that your plan?”
“I thought you might like the privacy; that’s all. What do you want me to do, give you a guided tour? Certainly you can tell a bedroom from a kitchen or a bathroom from a living area.”
Refusing to let her suppressed tears fall, Yarma swallowed her hurt and allowed her anger to erupt at his disregard for her. “You are an asshole. Screw you. Just give me the key to the outside entrance and I’ll manage from here.” I can do this is what she kept telling herself over and over. Somehow I know I can do this. Besides, I don’t need him nor want him around. As those thoughts blared out of her head, she said to herself who am I kidding? Why does he treat me like this? I want his comfort. I need his strength. I desire him.
Quinn heard every word she thought at that moment as he turned towards his entrance. He agreed with her; I am an asshole.