She didn’t dare come here, not after last time. Falinset had made it abundantly clear she was no longer welcome in his home.
Yet the light footsteps coming down the hall were not Nur’s tread. As Falinset’s mother Feyom breezed into the room as if she thought herself a wanted guest, Falinset rose to his feet. He did not bow however, purposely insulting her.
Feyom wasn’t looking at him anyway. As usual she took in the state of his office, the well-made but secondhand furnishings Nur had gleefully collected, the computer with its multiple readouts hovering in the air over the cluttered desk, and the large window vids that afforded Falinset of the many views of woods and dunes and trails surrounding his home. The way her nose wrinkled ... as it always did ... said Feyom was not impressed.
With a long-suffering sigh, she finally turned her gaze to her son. She was greeted by his glare. It was her turn to freeze, a moment of unease flickering in her eyes before she switched to the cold expression Falinset knew all too well.
As if they hadn’t parted with shouts the last time, she gave him a put-out tone. “Well, my son. No greeting for your mother?”
“Hello. Now goodbye,” he bit out.
She rolled her eyes. Instead of getting the hell out of his life as he wanted her to, Feyom sank daintily in the overstuffed seat in front of his desk. She didn’t so much sit as float down.
Graceful. Stunning in her aloof manner. As usual Falinset had to marvel at how a despicable creature like Feyom could present such a lovely front. His anger surged at himself for admiring the image she projected despite knowing what the woman was.
She gazed up at him, her confidence in her unassailability as a rare Kalquorian Matara firmly in place. She sniffed at his offense. “After all your fathers and I paid for tutors and manservants to raise you with some notion of decorum—”
Falinset spat out, “They aren’t my fathers, and you’ve never paid for anything in your life. I owe you nothing. Get out.”
She waved her hand, uncaring as ever. “Fine. We’ll be frank. You owe your real father more than my clanmates anyway. And yes, you do owe him.”
As her gaze settled on his vid screens detailing his potential new investment project, Falinset moved quickly to turn them all off. What Feyom lacked in intelligence and decency, she more than made up for in craftiness. He didn’t want her getting the slightest whiff of his successes. In fact, he didn’t want her getting a taste of any of his life, a life he was determined to live outside her influence.
With the vid feeds no longer floating above his desk, he leaned across its surface to confront her. “And what do I owe him? Tell me one damned thing I owe Dramok Maf.”