The Proposal (part 27)

“Ayn?” Mearzt said groggily. “What time is it?”


“Are you okay?” Mearzt sounded alert now.

“Someone was here, Mearzt. In the apartment. Without me knowing.” She explained how the light had been on.

“Are you sure they’re gone?” Mearzt asked in a whisper.

Ayn eyed Zoe, whose attention was still on the front door. “Pretty sure. Zoe’s not growling anymore, but she’s planted herself in front of the front door.”

“It wasn’t your dad just being spacey? Coming in for something and then leaving again?”

“He’s not that spacey Mearzt,” Ayn snapped. “He wouldn’t come in without telling me and then leave. He’d check in on me.”

“Hey, don’t get mad at me.”

Ayn took a deep breath. The truth was, she wasn’t at all sure anymore that her dad wouldn’t have done exactly that. He seemed to hardly be aware of her existence anymore. Whatever he was working on had completely consumed him. She’d complained about it often enough to Mearzt. But still, having someone else saying it made it worse. Even if  her friend was telling the truth. “I’m sorry,” she said after a minute.

“It’s okay,” Mearzt replied after another minute. “Did they take anything?”

“What? You mean like stealing? The compound has the tightest security on the planet.”

“Just putting it out there,” Mearzt said. “I mean, why else would someone be there?”

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