Gegra’s smile faded as his gaze flicked over Rajhir’s shoulder. His features went hard as stone in an instant. “Good afternoon, my Matara. Is your workday over?”
Rajhir twisted in his chair to see his mother Nivere walking into the room. Her lovely face was as distant as Gegra’s as she answered. “It is. Shall I wait for you or go home on my own, my Dramok?”
Gegra busied himself with his computer. “I am nearly finished if you would be kind enough to wait for a few minutes.”
“That is not a problem.”
Nivere turned her attention to Rajhir. Her smile, the loveliest thing he knew in his life, spread over her fine-boned face, lifting his heart.
Rajhir’s mother had clanned young, and she barely looked older than the men and women he dated. Her thick black hair waved gently to her knees, but for the crown of braids that circled at the top. Her purple gown matched her almond-shaped eyes, bringing their light shining from her face. The dress was custom-sewn for her, a sleeveless light sheath that reached her slippered feet. She held out long, lithe, toned arms to Rajhir, inviting his embrace.
Rajhir stood, pausing long enough to bow respectfully before accepting the gift of her hug. As always, he experienced a tug of pain in his heart over the distance between his parents. He understood Gegra’s coldness towards Nivere. Perhaps it was disloyal to love her so much, but Rajhir couldn’t help his devotion to her. Hers was the first smile he remembered as a child, her voice offered the first encouragements. No wrong she had ever committed could remove the adoration he felt for her.
He hugged her close and dropped a kiss on her still unlined forehead. Her arms tightened around him briefly before they released each other and stood gazing with sappy looks of devotion that might make a Nobek groan.
Nivere’s throaty voice was filled with pride. “My son, I am always glad to see you. Will you join your parents for dinner tonight?”
No release date set.