The Proposal (part 38)

“Thank you,” her dad said to the Black Suit as the got out of the solar craft. On the front stoop of their apartment, he stretched; several bones cracking as he did.

“I’ll be right there,” Ayn said.

Her dad nodded as he raised a palm over the security box beside the front door, and the door opened.

Zoe bounded out to her and Ayn ruffled the beastie’s ears and walked out of sight of the door. Since there weren’t windows in the apartment buildings that made up the complex, she only needed to be concerned with the security cameras over each front door. She walked to the end of the walkway that circled their floor, and around to the side of the building. There was a security camera at each corner of the building, too. “Really?” she muttered, wondering why they would need so many cameras in the Counsel compound. She hadn’t seen anyone who wasn’t a Counsel member or their family or staff inside the walls.

She picked the middle of the long stone wall and sat on the walkway. “Come here, Zoe,” she called to the beastie, who was exploring the walkway further towards the back of the building.

The beastie trotted to her, and sat when Ayn asked her to, effectively blocking one of the cameras. “I must be more tired than I thought,” she said, petting Zoe’s ears. “I’m acting as paranoid as Nev.”

She worried about her friend’s older brother sometimes. Their families had been neighbors in the country, and she’d grown up thinking of Nev as a big brother. When they were young, she and Mearzt and Nev had been constant companions. But as Nev got older, he found new friends—including those who believed that Father Gheraeld’s Counsel was corrupt.

Though Ayn had no concrete reason to feel the same way about Father Gheraeld’s Counsel as Nev did, after what had happened last night, she could be swayed.

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