An Impossible Price - pt. 1

The hatch sealed shut behind him, cutting off the stream of shrill verbal abuse being hurled at him. Corwin angrily left the habitation block and hailed transit back to his ship.

“How did it go?” The message popped up on his tablet as he returned to the hangar. Aru, his constant companion in the weeks since he’d found himself captaining the Night Star to regain his former life.

“Not as well as I’d hoped,” he replied, trying not to let his own anger into his voice, “but pretty much like I expected. She’s beyond pissed.”

“The captain’s cabin is prepared, or will you be taking rooms on the station?”

“No, I’ll stay here. I’m deep enough in debt.” Interorbital Regula Station had been home for the last several years, but living in orbit, while convenient in some respects, was far more expensive than living surface-side, especially in the hotels. “Besides, she just needs time to process. I’ll give her some space and go back later. It’ll be fine.”

Later turned into the next day; he was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow in his cabin. The next morning he made the return trek.

He palmed the indicator, sounding an alert in the apartment he shared. A minute or so later, the door snapped open, and there she was; Dana. Tall and beautiful, rich brown hair and guarded eyes. Well, it’s better than the flame throwers they were last night, he told himself. His lips were a stolid set line and he nodded at her.

She stood aside to let him in. The place was tiny, but felt like a palace next to the cramped quarters aboard the Night Star.

“Where’d you sleep? Have you eaten yet?”

That was encouraging; he’d half-expected more yelling, but her words, while a little sullen, sounded far more calm than last night. “Went back to the ship. No, I haven’t eaten.”