The Proposal (part 29)

Ayn looked to the shelf where photos of their family were kept. “Not sure yet,” she said, walking closer to the photos. She had insisted that they bring the collection of photo frames from their family home in the country, and that they be placed in the siting room where guests would see them. She wanted everyone to know that her dad had a life, and that it included not just she and Zoe, but her mom. Ayn had placed the photo frames on the only shelf in the room. They couldn’t be ignored in the otherwise—in her opinion—boring room.

“Are you seeing anything?” Mearzt whispered.

“Yeah,” Ayn said, her palms sweating now along with her heart racing. “You know the photo frames I brought? The ones Nev programmed for me?”

“The frames that end each rotation on an image of your mom?” Meartz’s voice rose with excitement.

“Yeah,” Ayn said, stepping until she was just in front of the shelf. Zoe whined beside her, and Ayn rested one hand on the beastie’s curly furred head.

“Did they take one?”

“No, but one of them isn’t showing mom at all.” Ayn touched the scroll button along the bottom of the frame. “They’re gone.”

“What about the other frames?”

Ayn checked the remaining four frames, her hands shaking so badly she could barely touch the right buttons. “Just this one. Why would someone do that?”

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