by Midii Une
“ You've got this way of making your lies feel true. . ."
from When I'm Holding You Tight, Michael Stanley Band
“I won't do that! How can you even ask me such a thing? I don't steal from people worse off than myself," the girl said, her wide set blue-gray eyes shining angrily at her companion. She was far from innocent but there were still some crimes she shrank from committing and, after all, there were very few people that were worse off than she was.
“Great! That's just great! What a time to develop a conscience," her boyfriend yelled. "We don't work, we don't get paid. You're such a pain in the ass. What good are you if you won't do the job? Just get the hell out of my life."
She grabbed at his arm as he turned to walk away from her.
"Adrian, no, wait. Please listen. We'll do something else. Don't leave. You're all I have," she pleaded. He looked at her with cold eyes. She was pretty with her tarnished gold hair and big eyes. Eyes that made her look sweet and innocent, the perfect foil for his criminal schemes. But he was tired of her bullshit, tired of her waifish charm and she was getting to be more trouble than she was worth. She wasn't really his type and there were plenty of
other desperate girls. Girls who weren't troubled with her occasional attacks of scruples. "
Go to hell Midii," he said softly and pushing her aside, walked away.
From Cathrine's vantage point it looked like the young couple she saw arguing were having a typical lover's spat. She was a caring, motherly person and hated to see anyone unhappy or troubled. The young circus performer crossed the street to speak to the girl who was standing forlornly, shivering on the corner with tears brightening her eyes. She must be about 18 years old, Cathrine guessed. Around the same age as Trowa, the boy she considered a younger brother. He had once been as alone and unhappy as this poor girl, she thought.
Excuse me," she said gently. "You look like you could use a friend. Can I buy you something to eat? You look like this wind might blow you away."
Midii glanced at the girl. She had gentle violet eyes and reddish-brown hair that tumbled in curls about her sweet face. She's asking for trouble, getting involved with someone like me, she thought. She was grateful for the offer but she had no business taking favors from nice people. She didn't deserve any breaks, she never had. She wasn't worth it. She shook her head briefly and started to walk away.
“Wait, please," Cathrine called out.
The girl paused and Cathrine handed her a slip of paper with her name and phone number on it. Something about the girl's bereft face and seeming lack of hope touched her deeply.
"Please call me if you need someone. I'd be happy to help, just to talk to you if you need it."
One tear slipped down Midii's face. "Thank you," she whispered and crammed the slip of paper into her pocket and walked away.
Cathrine sighed. That poor girl would never call her she knew. She wished people would be more willing to accept help. Why else did they exist in this world, if it wasn't to help each other?
Trowa listened to Cathrine's story as he lifted weights. He had to keep up his upper body strength to keep his performances up to par. Besides, despite the success of the Unified Earth Nation he was always afraid he'd be needed to fight again, he always needed to be ready. He frowned when Cathrine said she'd given that girl their phone number. She was too trusting and open and friendly. One of these days she was going to get hurt. And she was the one person in this world he loved.
“Don't look at me like that Trowa," Cathrine scolded, understanding him perfectly as always and bending over the weight bench to hug him, ignoring the light sheen of sweat that glistened on his muscles. "I know people and that girl may have problems but deep
down I know she has a good heart. She needed a friend. I only wish she would have let me help her."
Trowa accepted her hug without comment. He was never so certain about people. He could not be like Cathrine and trust people on such short acquaintance. It took much more than an abstract feeling like intuition to convince Trowa Barton of anything.
A man wearing dark glasses and non-descript clothing walked the streets of the city with a tattered photograph in his hand. He wondered if it was worth it, looking for a girl who probably didn't even exist anymore. But she had been damn good at what she did. That sad little face that tore at your heart and big, innocent eyes. The perfect face for a spy. He'd lost track of her over the years, but he could use her on this operation and he bet she needed the work. He had heard a rumor she was here on this backwater colony, wasting her talents as a small-time criminal. That was the kind of thing peacetime reduced professional spies to after all. Oh yes, she would definitely be glad to see him.
Finally one man's eyes lit up with recognition at the sight of the photograph. "Yeah, I know her. What's in it for me?"
He grinned at the appearance of a lead and waved a handful of bills at the guy. "Spill it. Where is she," he prodded. The younger man frowned. "I don't know now. She used to work with this guy Adrian but he dumped her not to long ago. Said she was too soft or something like that."
He scowled. Yes, it was true at times. Midii Une did have a tendency to go soft, sometimes at the worst of times. But overall she was coldly professional and that little touch of softness had added something to her credibility. People couldn't resist it.
That young woman she'd met on the street corner shouldn't have bothered worrying about her, Midii thought as she lowered herself into a steaming bubble bath in a luxurious hotel room. She sighed and sipped a glass of wine. She knew only too well how to take care of herself. A few taps into the hotel's database, locate and break into a vacant room, steal a bottle of wine from some rich room service guest and there you have it. It had been awhile since she'd pampered herself like this. She had kept most of her questionable talents hidden from Adrian, lowered herself to his level, so to speak. Only staying with him because he was handsome and had seemed to like her. And he had had green eyes. She was always drawn to green eyes. She didn't like being alone and did almost anything to avoid it.
Three years since peace had come and still she hadn't changed to meet the new times. Maybe she couldn't change. She was still trapped in a cycle she'd been caught up in since she was a child. She laughed a little bitterly. She had never been a child. Never.
To be continued . . .