|From:||Rand Ratinac docwagon101@*****.com|
|Subject:||Sweet Oblivion - Part 3|
|Date:||Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:12:26 -0700 (PDT)|
SWEET OBLIVION - Part 3
Anthony suppressed a groan as he followed Marcus to the table. He’d
been hoping for a nice, quiet meal at his favourite restaurant, not a
major production like this was shaping up to be. He knew Marcus meant
well, but sometimes he just wished he were an ordinary person, just
like anyone else.
Marcus stopped and began to speak in the rapid-fire fashion that
betrayed his nervousness. Anthony couldn’t catch all his words, but he
gathered that Marcus was telling the woman that there had been a
mistake, that her table was actually on the other side of the
restaurant, that this table had been reserved for someone else and
would she mind if she was moved quickly, in order that they not
inconvenience the other patrons further?
Her reply was all but inaudible, but the murmur of her voice dripped
with liquid honey. With Marcus blocking his view, Anthony couldn’t see
her until he was standing at the máitre d’s shoulder. He looked up at
the woman and stifled a gasp. While Amelia was beautiful, this woman
was absolutely exquisite. Her face was slender and softly rounded, her
skin a tawny bronze that set off amazing sapphire eyes to perfection.
Light brown hair tumbled in glistening waves around her shoulders and
down to her waist. Her outfit, like Amelia’s, was a Vashon Island
skirt-suit, but the similarity ended there. Where Amelia’s was black
and nondescript, the woman’s was a shimmering blue – a perfect match to
her eyes. The design was on the cutting edge of current corporate
fashion and Anthony found that it displayed her svelte, curvaceous
figure perfectly. Those glorious eyes suddenly widened as they fell on
Anthony and a faint, rosy blush rose to her cheeks.
Standing slightly off to one side, Amelia caught the glances passing
between Anthony and the young woman and sighed. Not again. It didn’t
happen often, but every once in a while Anthony would fall instantly,
madly and passionately in love. At least, he called it ‘love’. Amelia
thought ‘lust’ would be a more apt description. Unfortunately, however,
it seemed that in this case his feelings were returned in equal measure
by the object of his affections – and that could be dangerous. Carl,
check the girl out, she thought, her cybercomm link translating her
thoughts instantly into words that then manifested themselves as
sounds. Those sounds were transmitted directly to the inconspicuous
transceiver mounted in Carl’s ear.
Carl’s abbreviated nod and the vacant look that came to his eyes told
Amelia that he was doing as she had ordered. The mage, almost hidden
between the bulky shoulders of Robert and Paul, was examining the woman
through the medium of astral space. Amelia, like Anthony, didn’t
understand exactly how it worked, but she knew by doing so, Carl could
discover many things about the subject of his examination – their
general health and wellbeing, their state of mind and emotions and the
like. What she was most interested in, however were two other pieces of
information that could be gleaned in this way.
Carl’s eyes suddenly snapped back into focus and, glancing at Amelia,
he gave a small shake of his head. His fist came up to cover his mouth
as he coughed and a moment later his voice was reverberating in
Amelia’s ears, his subvocal microphone translating the tiny vibrations
produced by his mutterings into full-fledged words inside Amelia’s
brain. "She’s clean," he reported. "Not a shred of magic on her. Lots
of cyber, but it’s almost all located in her head. Cybereyes and ears,
datajack, lots of headware memory. She’s also got a matched set of hand
razors. Self-defense, maybe? My guess is that she’s an executive
secretary or the like to some big-shot suit. Could be a snoop, I guess,
but a reporter ain’t gonna find out anything incriminating from
Anthony. You know as well as I that he’s kept out of the loop on
important issues." Even behind his hand, Amelia could see Carl’s lips
screw up derisively. "He’s too damned nice to ever go anywhere in this
Shut it, Carl! Amelia mentally snapped. I know you feel like you’re
being wasted protecting somebody like Anthony, but being nice is one of
his better qualities. And it’s a quality that’s too damned rare in this
Carl snorted and covered the noise with another cough. "Right, boss,
whatever you say," he drawled sarcastically.
Amelia suppressed a sigh. Mages! she thought, projecting scorn into
the word and making sure they carried over the transmitter to her team.
Carl stifled a gasp and she could see Robert and Paul hiding their
smiles. This was as close as she would ever come to giving the prima
donna mage a reaming and she could tell they were enjoying it.
Ignoring Carl’s outraged glare, Amelia stepped forward to Anthony’s
side. Glancing up at Anthony, she saw that his eyes were still firmly
fixed on the young woman. Marcus was obviously puzzled by their
behaviour and seemed about to speak, but Amelia waved him off. Instead,
she nudged Anthony gently with her elbow. He jumped somewhat guiltily,
then blushed furiously as he realised he had been staring. The sudden
motion seemed to break the woman’s reverie as well, and she quickly
hopped to her feet. "I’m sorry," she murmured, her cheeks flushing a
bright crimson. "Please, excuse me."
"No!" Anthony blurted. His smile was rather weak. "Please stay.
I’d…we’d be very happy if you would stay and eat with us." He paused,
then smiled again, a bit more confidently this time. "Please."
A slow smile crept across the woman’s face. "I’d love to."
Anthony hurried around the table and offered her his arm as she sat
once more. He quickly appropriated the chair beside her, leaving Amelia
and the security team to seat themselves as they chose. Marcus seemed
as puzzled as before by this turn of events, but once he had regained
his customary imperturbability he took it in his stride. He quickly
moved to assist Amelia as she took the chair to Anthony’s left, then
snapped his fingers to summon one of the waiters. "Pierre will take
your orders," he stated, then, bowing his head, he took his leave.
Amelia was sure neither Anthony nor the young woman noticed, engrossed
as they were with each other. She sighed and snatched a menu from
Pierre peremptorily. Damn. Not again.
(aka Mr. Freaky Big, Super-Dynamic Troll of Tomorrow)
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From whawk61@*****.com Thu, 22 Apr 1999 20:29:19 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 20:29:19 -0700 (PD