Flying

As a boy of eight, Seth finds his life changed by a dark secret … something that he can’t possibly understand.

Years later, old faces, memories, and an envelope, draw Seth back into the web.

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44. 44 - Tired

44  -  Tired

 

 

May 17, 2383

 

 

Seth steps into the quiet apartment. The cloudy, Tokyo afternoon brings little light through the windows, but he doesn’t turn on the room lights.

 

 He looks at the vid-screen. It was just after 3pm. Jullian didn’t finish work for an hour or so. He could have met Jullian at the restaurant. He wanted to see her, yearned to see her, but he couldn’t bring himself to visit the crowded mall. He needed some quiet. He felt tired. He felt drained. He felt confused. He felt tired of feeling drained and confused.

 

Seth goes to the couch and sits back. He grabs one of the bright, blue pillows from the end of the couch. As he brings the pillow behind his head, he catches a familiar scent and brings it to his nose. He closes his eyes, breathing in slowly … it smelled like Jullian.

 

He puts the pillow behind his neck, letting his head fall back into it. A small tremor, like a mild electric shock, runs down his spine as his body relaxes.

 

Things were happening too fast.

 

 

“Seth?”

 

He opens his eyes, feeling a soft hand on his.

 

Jullian leans in from where she kneels beside the couch, planting a soft kiss on his lips. “Hi.”

 

Seth smiles as Jullian stands and looks down at him. “Hello.” She wears a dark purple blouse and darker, purple slacks. “You look … great.”

 

She gives him the mischievous look that excites him every time he sees it. A moment later, it’s replaced with a look of concern. “You don’t look all that great.”

 

Seth sits up, looking at his shirt and pants. They were crumpled, grass and dirt stained, and here and there, there were small, dark brown splatters. He looks at the vid-screen; almost 5 pm. “I don’t remember lying down. I’ve had an eventful day.”

 

She sits down, beside him. “And an overnight stay in LED headquarters, according to Jax.”  She takes his hand, giving it a squeeze. “Do you want to go out for something to eat? Get some fresh air? It’s cloudy, but it’s not raining.”

 

Seth shakes his head. “No. I’d rather just stay here tonight if you don’t mind.”

 

She brings a hand up to stroke his cheek. “Of course I don’t mind.”

 

He pulls her into a hug and they share a long, warm kiss.

 

Jullian runs her fingers through his messy hair. “Okay, you get cleaned up and I’ll change my clothes and make us something to eat. Then you can tell me about the events that made your day so eventful.” She stands, gives him a wink, and turns to the bedroom.

 

“Jullian?”

 

She turns back to him.

 

He smiles. “Please, don’t bother changing out of those clothes.”

 

 

The shower and clean clothes make Seth feel better, but he didn’t feel hungry. As he takes his first bite of pizza, he finds himself ravenous. He finishes the pizza, and then, a second.

 

Jullian was happy to discover his sushi gift in the keeper, and makes short work of it.

 

 

After the meal, Seth tells Jullian about the events since he last saw her; his meeting with Sylvian, his overnight arrest, his encounter with Lanner, his return to the Guardian’s headquarters, and his meeting with Marta and Sylvian.

 

She listens in silence. When Seth is finished speaking, she takes his hand, looking into his eyes, and considering his words.

 

Seth looks down at his hand, his fingers entwined with hers. “Jullian, should I trust the Guardians?”

 

She pulls her hand from his.  “Why are you asking me that?”

 

“Well, I thought …” He sees the look of distress in her eyes and reaches out, taking her hand back into his. “I’m sorry Jullian.”

 

 “You’d know that better than me. You met with them.”

 

Seth smiles, “Of course, you’re right.”

 

Jullian gathers up the empty food containers and goes to the kitchen. A few moments later, she returns, smiling. She sits beside Seth. “Mark came by the restaurant this afternoon.”

 

He feels his heart beat pick up its pace. “Mark?”

 

She nods. “He wants to speak to you, meet with you somewhere.”

 

Seth sits up straight “Tonight?”

 

She puts her hands on his shoulders, pushing him back. “No …” Her lips come to his. “Not tonight.”

 

They make love on the couch, among the bright, blue pillows.

 

 

Seth holds Jullian close, both of them spent, and close to sleep. The sound of their breathing is all that disturbs the quiet of the dimly lit room.

 

He speaks softly. “Jullian, were you looking at my mother’s papers?”

 

She looks away and up to the ceiling. “Yes.” Her eyes come back to his. “I’m sorry Seth. I was thinking about you and …”

 

He smiles and brings a hand to her lips, pressing against them lightly. “Not to worry. I just wanted to be sure that it was you.”

 

 

May 18, 2383

 

 

 Seth wakes and opens his eyes. He takes a deep breath, feeling groggy.

 

 He looks past Jullian to the window, visible over the back of the couch. It was still evening. There were no clouds and the moon cast it’s light into the otherwise, dark room. He looks at Jullian’s pretty face, only inches from his. He feels her soft breath on his face.  This was what he wanted, all he wanted. No more envelopes, no more mercs, no more Guardians, no more deaths, no more memories …

 

The hair on the back of Seth’s neck stands straight, as Jullian’s face is illuminated by a strange, blue light. He turns his head slowly … looking back, toward the vid-screen …

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