As usual for me, this month’s blog hop story features her. We’re going back in time to the beginning of her time on the station…
Back when they were still new as partners on Platform Eight, Amy and Luis met up after hours to get to know each other better…
I hope you enjoy this story, and look for links at the bottom of the page for more free stories from international authors.
Glancing up and to the left, I saw that the clock on my left eye lens had changed from green to yellow. Fifteen minutes left in my shift, the security bay tidy, and nothing illegal happening in the corridors of Section Five.
Now or never.
“Hey,” I said to my partner of just over a year. “Want to get a drink after work?”
The only person I’d really gotten to know on Platform Eight looked up from his 3D chess holo, refusal on his face.
“It’s my birthday, Luis.” I hesitated. “Please?”
His shoulders slumped. “Sure. Where?”
Victory, even if he wasn’t excited about it. I’d take that. I named the only place I knew he liked—off duty or on. “The Watering Whole?”
“Bueno. I’ll meet you there after I change, okay chica?”
“Thanks Luis,” I said. “See you in a few.”
I flashed him my best smile. I don’t make friends that easily, and while it was risky to push our relationship from partners to friends, my dad had talked me into trying it the last time he’d visited.
Bass from the Watering Whole thumped right through my audio dampers, and I could swear my heart pounded to the beat, but I was in the mood to relax, so I didn’t mind as much as usual. Luis finally joined me, still looking way too wound up in an off-duty shipsuit that was the same chocolate as his eyes and cut just like a security shipsuit—not that I could mock him, since I wore a dark gray in the same style—and his smile brought a live waiter’s attention faster than my credit had.
The Watering Whole catered to more lusts than just alcohol, and the waiter had dressed to impress.
“Rum and coke?” he asked Luis, who nodded.
“Coke?” I stared. Not only did he like old sayings, it sounded like he enjoyed old drinks, too.
“Whiskey sour for the lady?”
“Sure,” I lied, then held up one hand. “No, wait. A mojito, please.” No reason to start out what I hoped would be a friendship—and only a friendship—with a lie, even so small a one. Another one.
So, friendship-wise, Luis was easy on the eyes, but we worked together.
I don’t sleep with anyone I work with.
Lie-wise… well, I’d have to fix that.
“Something sweet for the lady.” Grinning, the waiter turned and sauntered away.
“Nice ass,” we murmured together.
“Very nice shoulders coming your way.”
He looked. “Too arrogant for me,” he said. “Ah… you don’t mind?”
The waiter appeared and set drinks in front of us. After he moved to the next table, I sipped and let the mint and lime roll over my tongue. “Of course I don’t mind.” Rolling my eyes, I continued, “Despite your obvious assumptions, I have no intention of having sex with you. I just want a friend.”
He choked on rum and coke.
“Who you love is none of my business.” I watched as he covered his face with his hands. “Unless you want some sort of three-way, then I’d have to think about it, except, oh yeah, I don’t do that with co-workers.”
Luis cleared his throat, his face red. “Chica,” he said. “Happy birthday.”
Damn. “About that.” I took a long drink. “I need to confess… I lied.”
“I know,” he said.
Spluttering, I glared at him. “You know?”
He shrugged. “While I was training you, I had access to your files. I knew it wasn’t your birthday, but you needed a friend, so here I am.”
The chair creaked as I sat back. “So… you want to dance? Or something?”
“Nah.” Luis leaned forward, suddenly concerned. “We’ve worked together for almost a year now, and you’ve been awfully quiet about leaving Space Enforcement.”
I flinched and looked around, but no one was paying attention to us, and with the music so loud no one could overhear. If anyone deserved a true answer, it would be my partner and self-proclaimed friend. Clutching the synth-glass which held the last of my drink, I leaned forward and lowered my voice. “I screwed up,” I said to my mojito, memories biting at me. “We had a run-in with Gunnar Quinn, the slaver.”
When he grunted, I forced myself to look up.
“We lost,” I told him, my knuckles whitening as I gripped my glass even harder. “I couldn’t—”
Luis set his hands over mine. “I gotcha.”
His eyes—suddenly tired and sad—told me he understood, and I felt better. Damn my dad for being right—as usual.
“Hey.” I pulled my drink away. “This is supposed to be a party.”
Grinning, my partner leaned back. “Since we’re not going to dance, and we’re not going to have sex, you want to come back to my place and watch classic 2D holos?”
“Is that where you pick up all your weird old phrases from?”
“It’s a hobby,” Luis said slyly. “All those beautiful men keep me from thinking too hard about the times I’ve lost a battle.”
I paid our bill with a smirk. “I am always happy to look. Let’s go.”
One of the best things about having a good friend is what you don’t have to say. Looked like I’d been right about getting together after work, but wrong about needing a friend.
I already had one in Luis.
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