Ring of the Dragon: Antonello Brothers Immortal
Where are my plants?
In this scene aboard his flagship, Pietas is anticipating an imminent visit from Cyken (aka Luc Saint-Cyr). Although Cyken has sworn he and Pietas are no longer a couple and never will be again, Pietas is loathe to accept that as fact.
Pietas halted in the doorway. Despite its multiple couches, statues, and art, his stateroom evoked an emotional chill. From the door, nothing broke the stark monotony of white. And why did he care?
Because he'd do anything to impress Cyken.
"Fool that I am." Pietas tapped his bracelet. "Uurah. I ordered plants for my quarters." He crossed to the life-sized statue of Cyken commissioned multiple lifetimes ago. "Where are they?"
"An android crew is on its way, my lord. They should be there any second."
Why had he not noticed a shiny spot on one cheek of the black-and-gold marble? Pietas brushed the back of his fingers across the statue's cheek in a hand-kiss, an affectionate greeting among their people. He did that every time he passed. Had he caused this? Perhaps so. He'd touched it at least once a day, over hundreds... no, thousands of days.
Curious, he turned to the white marble statue outside his bedroom. Two worn places on this one. Cheek and shoulder. A third statue stood further out of his path, but in direct line of sight upon leaving his bedroom. If his gaze had weight, that one would have holes in it.
Here he stood, surrounded by life-sized images of three people he'd loved most, yet feeling more alone than he'd ever been in his immortal life.
The door buzzed, and Pietas tapped his bracelet to open it.
Six androids entered, each carrying a large pot with green plants. "Where would you like these, my lord?"
Another bracelet tap. "Uurah. They want to know where these plants are supposed to go. Get down here and deal with this."
"Yes, my lord. On my way."
Pietas beckoned one of the androids closer and inspected the plant. A robust ivy, common on most worlds. "Uurah, why are they all green? I ordered flowering plants. This room is solid white. I can't greet Cyken in a room that's solid white."
"Are you on your way? If yes, you may ask."
"I am, my lord. Has Cyken not met with you in that room before?"
What kind of question was that? "You know he has."
"I am confused. Since you have greeted General Cyken there before but now cannot, has something changed in your relationship that I need to be aware of?"
Fates preserve him from literal androids. "No, Uurah. No change. What else?"
"The plants are green and the statue of Cyken is black-and-gold, are they not?"
"Yes, yes." Pietas pressed two fingers against his tight brow. "What's your point?"
"How can the room be solid white if those items are there?"
He stopped himself from snapping a response. Wishing for patience only bred trouble. One did not acquire patience by everything going one's way. He must keep his head while teaching this new variant of Uurah.
What idiot had convinced him upgrading this android again would be worthwhile?
Oh, yes. That would be Cyken. Bless him.
"Uurah, just get down here and bring flowers."
~ * ~
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