I am very happy to say that nothing new or exciting has happened this week. No big surprises so far, and no heavy news. The only thing of note is having Teacher's Convention yesterday and today means the kids have an extra long, 4-day weekend, and the kids having an extra long weekend gives me one, too.
Writing is coming along swimmingly. This is a pun just for me due to the short-ish new story I'm working on. You'll laugh later once the story gets posted. How fun this story is to write has provided the proof I needed that asking for prompt words from the Twitter community is something I want to do more often. I guess every time a story ends I'll put up a new tweet and see what interesting and diabolical words I can receive. :D
As for my big manuscript, I've gotten nearly all the edits I wanted to do done. The story hadn't stalled out, but I'd overcomplicated things for myself and made the manuscript less fun to work on (not to mention the pandemic impacts on writing time and life in general over the past year, which are lessening for the moment at least).
“I don’t have a list,” Trevor said. She dropped her head to one side as she considered her answer. “Honestly, my first two serious relationships showed me that someone cute is fine to look at, but often not fine to have a relationship with. My third one confirmed my mom was right when she told me to look for someone I like talking with, not someone I found interesting getting talked at by. My last relationship we were just too much alike and fought all the time. I guess now… I like looking at people I think are cute, but I get attracted to compassion and that excitement that bubbles up when people are interested in learning something or they have a passion they love talking about.”
“So keen minds packaged in above average bodies, supported by souls who thrive on rescuing young animals,” Leo replied, keeping his tone level as he nodded in an attempt to look and sound sarcastically sage. “But, wait, you said you were attracted to me, though?”
“Dockland doesn’t have a huge population. I had to lower my standards,” she said, quickly and completely off-hand.
“Now it makes sense,” he said with a wide grin.
She studied him with serious eyes for a moment and then tilted her head slightly to the side. “Leo, you do realize I only had to lower them a few decimal points off perfect to accommodate you, right?” Her tone was earnest and hit him completely off guard.
“Uh,” Leo said, unable to think of anything as an answer to that. He dropped his stare to look at the screens they were monitoring, cleared his throat, and tried to ignore the blush heating his face. “Well, at least I’m still assured I have room for improvement,” he said, pretending a lot more bravado than he felt as he flashed a quick grin at her.
She just chuckled and shook her head at him, about to say something when suddenly her brows pinched down and she frowned slightly. “Wait, you said before that you didn’t need to deal with Charlotte in person ‘yet’?” She stared over the console screens in front of her to his station. He shrugged and continued compiling the Routing Options Report on one screen while going over Trevor’s antivirus on the other.
“I guess I assumed that liking you this much, and possibly having the attraction reciprocated, means at some point it would be nice to meet your family, too,” he said. “I’m not planning on it; that would be a little much a lot too soon. But it’s a potential goal for some distant, as-yet fuzzy future.”
Trevor didn’t answer right away. She was staring at him, biting her bottom lip, when he looked up to smile over his screens at her. His stomach flipped when she smiled back.
“So that means you, at some point in our future, also might be thinking about giving me a tour of the landside condominium property associated with the mortgage you were bragging earlier in our shift about your parents owning?” she asked.
“You know how it goes with families. You show me yours, I show you mine…”
“You think that only applies to families?” she said, mischief dancing across her lips.
“Hopefully not, but the alternatives it applies to right now I think are better as another potential goal for an unknown, distant and fuzzy future,” he replied, waving his fingers in the air like a children’s magician as he spoke.
“Sounds good to me,” Trevor agreed. “And speaking of right now, have you proofed the antivirus so we can give Captain our report in proper language and not get chewed on at the end of our shift?” she asked, getting back to finishing off the summary of the sixth route so he could include it in the report.
“Sort of,” he said, looking down at his screens.
“I’m rewriting the implementation into an option,” he said.
“Why?” she asked.
“At the start of our shift you said you wanted Captain to see how annoying Hodahvay is being. I figured presenting the Routing Options Report in their gibberish, and then providing the switch to engage the antivirus should do it,” Leo explained.
“And that way Captain still retains access to the gibberish version whenever she needs it. Like for that remote audit in three months she advised us to collect data and proof for because she’s arguing with Senior Coalition that Dockland’s systems are too outdated and susceptible to corruption,” Trevor said, smiling at the idea.
“That’s what I was thinking,” Leo agreed. “Plus, we might be able to stop wasting so much of our time fixing corruptions if Captain decides she wants more evidence for the audit.”
“Pretty, educated, kind, and surprisingly devious,” Trevor said with a sigh, fluttering her eyelashes at him. He beamed a smile over the console screens and was rewarded with another laugh from her.
Their plan for getting out of constantly wasting hours fixing corruptions, which it turned out Hodahvay was helping Mollin create, worked perfectly. Captain ordered them to monitor the issues and create the solutions, but they didn’t have to waste time implementing anything because Captain wanted to see every corruption in the before and after states.
Three shift cycles later, sitting in the galley and talking after dinner, Trevor covered Leo’s fingers with her own and smiled while finishing her story about the Analyst she’d been training on TS Decrete before meeting Leo and getting the contract on Dockland. Leo had left her touch lingering for a moment before lacing his fingers between hers. They’d stayed that way for almost an hour, talking and laughing and holding hands.
That week they talked about everything. He told her about growing up landside, happily making the most of what little his lowest-caste parents had for him and his two siblings, and how he’d lucked into a scholarship giving him access to his Academy education and exploration training. She told him about growing up shipside, picking up school where she could and jobs when she needed to, how her transient family made the best of everything and how her experience building and testing ReadScan systems and ship flight simulators had gotten her the opportunity to become an in-situ trainer.
They’d talked political views, personal moments, and jokes that would have gotten them called bolts with anyone else but they each thought were funny. They even laughed about how weird-to-them the reversed naming conventions were between landside and shipside living; what Leo had always considered masculine names, Trevor knew as feminine names, and what Leo considered feminine were all masculine to Trevor.
Five weeks into the exploration, they were walking back to personal quarters after dinner together and discussing their interests and thoughts about if they – in some potential, distant and fuzzy future – wanted to have children. For Leo the answer was an easy yes; he’d never been able to picture his life without having children. Trevor hesitated, though, before confirming the thought had crossed her mind but she hadn’t put a lot of thinking into it.
“Well, that’s not like it’s a decision you need to make right now,” Leo said with a smile. “Distant, fuzzy future,” he intoned, making the magic-fingers gesture and staring down the hallway like there was a horizon at the end of it.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!